Pre and post nuptial agreements and other relationship agreements can shape what happens if, at a later stage, you and your partner separate and divorce. In the meantime, they can bring clarity and support to your relationship and can provide the added benefit of legal protection should either of you need it at a later date.
Care needs to be taken to ensure that any agreement that you sign is legally binding. This is particularly the case with pre-nuptial agreements where there are challenging hurdles to creating a binding agreement.
- You need to give yourself enough time before the wedding to finalise the agreement. At the very least, you should both have signed the agreement no fewer than 28 days before your wedding date.
- Importantly, both parties must have freely and voluntarily entered into the agreement.
- It is essential that you fully understand the implications of any relationship agreement, including how the Courts might interpret the agreement if it is ever relied on. Obtaining independent legal advice will be key in this respect.
- Full disclosure of each other’s financial circumstances at the time of entering into the agreement will also be relevant.
- The terms of the agreement should be fair.
The Supreme Court gave guidance about what the Courts should take into account when holding parties to nuptial agreements in the case of Radmacher v Granatino in 2010. The Supreme Court said: “the court should give effect to a nuptial 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.”
So, a judge is still able to exercise discretion in determining whether the nuptial agreement should be binding on the couple. But, if the criteria referred to above are met, then a couple should expect to be held to the terms of their nuptial agreement.
At GoodLaw Solicitors our expertise in negotiating and delivering pre and post nuptial agreements and relationship agreements is second to none. Whatever your personal circumstances, our talented team of family lawyers has the experience and technical skill to work with you to deliver a pre or post nuptial agreement or relationship agreement which gives you peace of mind.