It is a myth that pre-marital and post-nuptial agreements are just for the wealthy. More and more couples recognise the importance of setting out their intentions at the start of a relationship to avoid potential conflict should the relationship come to an end.

A couple who intend to marry, or who are already married, may wish to agree in advance what should happen to their money and property in the event that they should separate or divorce.

They can do so by entering into a pre-nuptial agreement before they marry, or a post-nuptial agreement after they have married.

What is involved in getting an agreement?

For an agreement to be binding (see below) certain criteria must be met, including:

  • That before signing the agreement both parties must have made full disclosure of their financial circumstances, and any other material matters;
  • That before signing the agreement both parties must have taken independent legal advice upon the proposed terms of the agreement;
  • That neither party was coerced into signing the agreement against their will; and
  • That the agreement does not prejudice the reasonable requirements of any children of the family.

And in the case of pre-nuptial agreements, the agreement must be entered into a reasonable time before the marriage, to reduce the possibility of one party being pressured to sign the agreement. There is no set time period, but twenty-eight days before the marriage has been suggested as a minimum.

Will the agreement be binding?

Obviously, an agreement will be worthless if it is not upheld by the court in any future divorce proceedings.

Just because the parties agree to the terms of the agreement does not mean that the court will uphold it.

However, the court should give effect to an agreement that is freely entered into by each party with a full appreciation of its implications, unless in the circumstances prevailing it would not be fair to hold the parties to the agreement.

Accordingly, the court is likely to uphold agreements in most cases, so long as the criteria mentioned above have been met, and there have been no significant changes in the parties’ circumstances since the agreement was entered into.

Getting an agreement

A pre- or post-nuptial agreement should really be drafted by a solicitor, to ensure that it is binding, and that it properly gives effect to the agreement reached between the parties.

Once the agreement has been drafted by one party’s solicitor it will be sent to the other party’s solicitor, for approval. And once the terms of the document have been agreed by both sides, fair copies will be prepared, and signed by the parties.

How Prince Family Law can help?

At Prince Family Law our lawyers have substantial experience of drafting Prenuptial Agreements and have dealt with Prenuptial Agreements where the assets exceed several million. It is imperative, prior to contemplating marriage, to seek legal advice to ensure your assets, in the unlikely event of divorce, are protected.

If you are already married and wish to discuss entering into a Postnuptial Agreement the principles are the same as a Premarital Agreement and advice can be offered on this.

Premarital and Postnuptial Agreements are not just for the wealthy and anyone who wishes to preserve their assets and avoid possible litigation on divorce should seek advice upon a Prenuptial Agreement with their future or current spouse.

Meet the Team

David Prince
David Prince
Managing Director / Solicitor

David founded Prince Family Law in 2005 having previously spent 17 years as a family law partner with a leading…

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Sarah Woodward
Sarah Woodward
Director / Chartered Legal Executive

Sarah has practiced family law since 1995 and trained at a large city practice. Sarah specialises in all aspects of …

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Lisa O’Connor
Lisa O’Connor
Director / Chartered Legal Executive

Lisa is a Chartered Legal Executive and Director of the firm. Lisa O’Connor joined Prince Family Law in 2008 having …

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Carey New
Carey New
Associate Director / Chartered Legal Executive

Carey has practised Family Law since 1999 and has a wealth of knowledge in all areas including financial settlements…

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Robert Gallon
Robert Gallon
Associate Director / Solicitor

After graduating from the University of Edinburgh in 2010 with a Degree in Law and History and completing the Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice and Skills…

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Katie Harrison
Katie Harrison
Solicitor

Katie has practised family law since qualification in 2021. Katie graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in 2016 with an upper second class with honours in her LLB. Katie went on to obtain a distinction in her legal practice course and won the Nelsons Part Time Stage 1 prize for best student.

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Rachel Barlow
Rachel Barlow
Associate Director / Chartered Legal Executive

Rachel has spent over 22 years practising at local Derbyshire and South Yorkshire firms and is widely recognised as an expert in all matrimonial matters

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Nathaniel Walters
Nathaniel Walters
Trainee Solicitor

Nat gained his Law Degree attending University in Leeds and subsequently attained the post-graduate Legal Practice Course at the University of Law in Sheffield…

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Kelsie Thornton
Kelsie Thornton
Paralegal

Kelsie has been working in family law for the last 4 years having previously worked in a well known Doncaster firm.

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Clea Kapadia
Clea Kapadia
Solicitor Apprentice

Clea has always wanted to become a solicitor and is about to enrol on the Solicitor Apprentice Course sponsored by the Firm

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Sarah Hall
Sarah Hall
Practice Manager

Sarah Hall

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Anna Miller
Anna Miller
Personal Assistant / Secretary

Our highly experienced team of Personal Assistants/Secretaries have been with the firm for many years and offer a strong support network to our fee earners and clients.

Helen Fletcher
Helen Fletcher
Personal Assistant / Secretary

Our highly experienced team of Personal Assistants/Secretaries have been with the firm for many years and offer a strong support network to our fee earners and clients.

Rachel Lamb
Rachel Lamb
Personal Assistant / Secretary

Our highly experienced team of Personal Assistants/Secretaries have been with the firm for many years and offer a strong support network to our fee earners and clients.

Barrie Start
Barrie Start
Legal Cashier

Legal Cashier Barrie has worked in Chesterfield as an accounts manager for all of his working life…