Prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements

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.


Why is certainty important?

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 lawyers

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. 

Our experience

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: 

  • Business owners and entrepreneurs who are looking to protect their businesses for future generations
  • People who are marrying for a second time, wanting to pass on their wealth to their children from a previous relationship
  • Beneficiaries of trusts
  • International families where prenups involve co-ordinating advice from a variety of different countries
  • High-profile celebrities and ultra-HNW individuals 

Our clients

Here’s just some examples of our recent work:  

  • A prenup for a Premiership footballer. He and his partner had lived together for several years and had decided to get married at short notice.
  • A prenup for an entrepreneur whose fiancée was from one EU country and they were going to live in another. We worked closely with family lawyers from those two other jurisdictions to cover these international factors.
  • A post-nup for the beneficiary of a substantial farming trust that she and the family wanted to pass on to future generations.

What you need to know

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.

So, what happens if you decide to get a prenup? 

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. 


Frequently Asked Questions


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