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Date: 1 January 1970
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Whilst the idea of signing a prenuptial agreement might not be a particularly romantic one for many couples planning their wedding, such agreements are becoming increasingly common. This is hardly surprising given that 42% of marriages are expected to end in divorce. Prenuptial agreements are seen as a practical way of agreeing how the financial affairs will be dealt with if a couple’s relationship breaks down. Shelley Cumbers, Family and Divorce Law solicitor at Thompson Smith and Puxon explains.
A prenuptial agreement is signed by the couple in anticipation of marriage and before their wedding ceremony. Whilst technically prenuptial agreements are not legally binding under English law, they will be afforded significant weight if the couple later divorce and the Family Court will be slow to interfere provided the agreement is fair to both parties.
In order for the agreement to be fair, the following safeguards must be applied:-
Both parties must exchange full financial disclosure at the time the agreement is made;
The agreement must be made several weeks before the ceremony so that it cannot be alleged that either party was rushed into signing the agreement;
Neither party must be unduly pressured to sign the agreement; and
Both parties must take independent legal advice.
Prenuptial agreements are no longer just for the rich and famous, and can be particularly useful in short or childless marriages, or where one party is significantly richer than the other. They should be considered by all couples planning marriage as, whilst of course putting an agreement into place will cost some money, it can save a lot of time, heartache and considerably more money in the future.
Shelley advises clients on all aspects of private family law and is able to offer a free half hour initial chat for prospective clients. She is a member of Resolution and a Collaborative Lawyer. She is committed to resolving matters constructively and sensibly.
To find out more about how Shelley can help contact her on 01206 217078 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.