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Pre-Nuptial Agreements

Pre-nuptial Agreements (or pre-nups, as they are more commonly known) are used by couples who agree to the terms of their financial arrangements before marriage.  Pre-nups are becoming increasingly popular with couples.

Pre-nups may not be the first thought that couples come to when arranging their wedding.  They should be considered as a help to couples rather than a hindrance.  If a marriage or civil partnership were to end, having a pre-nup in place would go some way in protecting each individual’s assets.  It provides good evidence to the court of the intentions the parties had at the time of their marriage.

Within a pre-nup agreement, you can include details of:

  • What you consider are sole and joint assets
  • What would happen if you received an inheritance or a significant lump sum
  • What would happen if you were no longer to work due to illness or disability
  • What happens to items that you have bought together
  • The financial support for yourself and any children during the currency of your relationship
  • What would happen upon your death

Pre-nups should be reviewed at least every 5 years, or when there is a significant change in circumstances.

Whilst they are not legally binding, if certain criteria are met, it is likely that the court will uphold the agreement where there is a dispute.  In particular, the courts will consider:

  • Each party must have had independent legal advice
  • Each will have provided to the other full and frank financial disclosure
  • The agreement to be considered fair in the circumstances, with no significant changes
  • It was signed no less than 28 days before the marriage


Post-Nuptial Agreements

Post-nuptial agreements are made by married couples.  They are similar to pre-nuptial agreements but are signed after marriage.  Couples may wish to consider this contract for a number of reasons.  For example:

  • They have simply run out of time before a marriage to sign a pre-nuptial agreement;
  • Parties may wish to protect an inheritance they are receiving or likely to receive
  • The birth of a child
  • A change in employment circumstances

Post-nuptial agreements should be reviewed in the event of a change in circumstances.  For this reason, you should also make a Will.  Whilst post-nuptial agreements are not legally binding, if certain conditions are fulfilled, they are likely to be upheld by the court.  They are considered to be good evidence. You should consider a post-nuptial agreement if any of the following apply:

  • One or both of you have children from a previous relationship and you would like to protect them.
  • You wish to declare what are considered as “matrimonial assets” and “non-matrimonial assets” such as a business.


If you are getting married, or have already married, whether you have assets now or not, it is beneficial to consider a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement.  Upon the breakdown of a marriage, arguments over finances are expensive, and there is likely to be a delay in their resolution and a risk of an adverse outcome.   You should give time to consider a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement, so that any disagreements can be dealt with.

Here at Battrick Clark, we will help guide you through the process of a pre-nup or post-nuptial agreement and help you start your future or continue your future together with confidence.




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