Pre and Post-nuptial agreements

More and more people are entering into pre-nuptial agreements (before they marry), pre-civil partnership agreements (before civil partnership) or post-nuptial agreements (during marriage) to protect their assets in case the relationship breaks down. It is a trend sparked by the rise in divorce rates, the increase in the level of financial settlements on divorce and the significantly greater recognition given to such agreements by the courts in recent years.

While most of those entering into pre-nuptial agreements already have assets they wish to protect, some are expecting to accrue or generate large wealth during the marriage, whether from inheritance, investments or earnings.

The recent decision of the Supreme Court in Radmacher v Granatino (and previously the Court of Appeal in Crossley v Crossley and the decision of the Privy Council in MacLeod) shows that agreements will be upheld where the parties have entered into the agreement with a clear understanding of its implications, unless it would be unfair on one party to be held to its terms. The Radmacher decision enforced a pre-nuptial agreement made between foreign nationals and significantly reduced the financial provision awarded by the High Court.

Having successfully acted for the husband in the landmark case of Crossley, our team has the expertise to assess how best to make such agreements work. We have significant experience in drafting and negotiating multi-jurisdictional pre-nuptial agreements.

We are happy to advise either the financially stronger party or their intended spouse or civil partner.

Either way, we know that discussions about pre-nuptial agreements can be a very delicate issue, and we take great care to adapt our approach to individual circumstances.


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