10-12 Love Lane Pinner Middlesex HA5 3EF
020 8429 1010
020 8429 8444

Pre-Marriage Agreements

A pre-marriage Agreement, also known as a Pre-Nuptial Agreement, is generally entered into prior to the marriage of the husband and wife. Such agreements can also be concluded after marriage and are then known as a Post-Nuptial Agreement.

In recent years such agreements have become popular with couples about to marry who wish to control and safeguard their own financial affairs should the marriage breakdown.

Until recently Pre-Nuptial Agreements were not considered to be legally binding in English Law. Where an agreement includes a provision purporting to restrict a right to apply to the Court for an order containing financial arrangements the relevant legislation provides that such an agreement shall be void. Increasingly, however, the Courts have been prepared to take such agreements into account as one of the factors to consider when determining how finances should be divided. A Judgment delivered in October 2010 by the Supreme Court in the case of Radmacher v. Granatino decided a Pre-Nuptial Agreement should be given decisive and compelling weight. It was stated that the principle to be applied is that a Court should give effect to such Agreements so long as they are freely entered into by each party with a full appreciation of its implications and that it was fair to hold the parties to their Agreement. In the right case a Pre-Nuptial Agreement or Post-Nuptial Agreement can have a decisive or compelling influence.

A number of safeguards must be followed when such Agreements are prepared if the Court is to give weight to what spouses agree. These include ensuring that:

  • there is provision for any children
  • both parties have taken independent legal advice on the terms of the Agreement
  • they have fully disclosed their financial circumstances to the other
  • the terms of the Agreement are not unjust
  • the Agreement has been concluded not less than 21 days prior to the date of the marriage.

The length of a marriage is also a consideration. After a long marriage it may be considered unfair to hold parties to an Agreement which they entered into when contemplating an unforeseen future.

Getting in touch

Speak to us in confidence. We guarantee discreet specialist, friendly and professional advice.

020 8429 1010