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Nuptial agreements are increasingly common. They help provide you with security at an uncertain time and help protect your assets.
Whether you’re a business owner or an individual, we have the expertise to support you when negotiating and drafting your prenuptial or post-nuptial agreements.
Prenuptial agreements (where you draw up an agreement before getting married) and postnuptial agreements (where you reach an agreement after getting married) give you peace of mind. They can cover all your assets or just key elements that you want to protect. They may have had a chequered history in England and Wales but prenups are, if prepared properly, highly influential and, in many cases, presumed to be binding.
There is no fixed formula when it comes to financial settlements in a divorce. Instead, the law provides a wide discretion and guiding principles to help achieve a fair outcome. This flexibility allows the court to take into account a family's individual circumstances when splitting assets and considering maintenance and to come up with a tailor-made arrangement. However, flexibility can make it difficult to predict with certainty what decision a judge will make and the best a family lawyer can do is give you a broad bracket of what a settlement might be. This causes arguments, costly legal proceedings, and stress.
Our prenup lawyers have enormous experience of advising on, drafting and negotiating prenups and post-nups. Whether agreements are international or more local, the assets are straightforward or complex, we are able to help.
Prenuptial agreements are no longer just for high net worth individuals. We have the technical skill and practical knowledge to get the right outcome for you, taking into consideration your financial position. We work with a range of clients, including:
Here’s just some examples of our recent work:
While they are not yet legally binding, since a Supreme Court ruling in a case called Radmacher v Granatino in 2010, the presumption is that family courts should uphold prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements if they are fair and both parties fully understand the implications. To all intents and purposes, prenups and post-nups are binding.
First, you’ll need to speak to your partner. It’s a good idea to do this early because it can take anything from a few weeks to several months to get an agreement together. Ideally your prenup should be signed at least 28 days before your wedding. You do not want to finalise this when you are also making decisions about seating plans, menu choices and flowers.
You will both need independent legal advice on the agreement. Make sure you speak to an experienced family lawyer who understands prenups. The family lawyers at Mills & Reeve are able to advise you, negotiate on your behalf and prepare all the documentation you need. We can co-ordinate advice from overseas or from specialists such as tax advisors and pensions experts.
You will each need to disclose your financial position – the agreement may not work unless financial disclosure is correct. Considering your future – such as where you will live, or if you’re likely to have children – will help you to tailor the document to your situation.
Once agreed, the prenup can be put away and you can enjoy your wedding day.
Structuring family businesses to protect against divorce and separation
Family companies will often overlook their constitutional documents. It is frequently the case that articles of association (“articles”), which are the rule book of the company, will have been left unchanged since the company was formed. But what happens if a shareholder gets divorced?
Succession planning, marital agreements and protecting the family business
Succession planning, and passing on family wealth to the next generation, will be a priority for many involved with family businesses. The aim will often be that the next generation work their way up the ranks, increasingly take over the day to day management, and with it, ownership.
How can mediation help couples discuss prenuptial agreements?
In this blog we explore the use of mediation for couples entering into a prenuptial agreement.
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