Weddings and Pre-nuptial Agreements

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The ‘timing’ requirement

As small weddings are given the go-ahead in England and Wales; now might be a good time to consider whether you need a pre-nuptial agreement.

Pre-nuptial agreements are not automatically legally binding, but the court will uphold them if they are freely entered into by both parties with full appreciation of their implications (unless in circumstances where it is unfair to).

It is essential that both parties enter into the agreement of their own free will without any pressure. The agreement is unlikely to be upheld if the court finds evidence of duress or undue influence.

The date you enter a pre-nuptial agreement is, therefore, of significant importance. The Law Commission proposes that they should be made not less than 28 days in advance of a marriage or civil partnership. This reduces the likelihood of last minute pressures and/or a party later arguing that they did not have sufficient time to consider and understand the agreement’s terms.

The Supreme Court in the leading case of Radmacher v Granatino also stated that legal advice is “desirable” as this will ensure a party understands the implications of the agreement.

Whilst pre-nuptial agreements are certainly becoming more recognised; they cannot override how the court distributes your assets and income upon divorce. At Hunt & Coombs we offer an initial one hour, fixed-fee appointment whereby we will advise you of your proposed agreement’s implications and set out how the court may deal with any financial claims if you divorce in the future with the agreement in place. This will allow you an opportunity to weigh up whether a pre-nuptial agreement ought to be entered into before your wedding day.

If you require help and advice concerning a pre-nuptial agreement and would like to discuss how Hunt & Coombs can help you please contact our Family Team on 01733 882800 or email [email protected].

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