We frequently advise in relation to the preparation of pre-nuptial (pre-marriage), post-nuptial (post marriage) and pre-civil partnership agreements.

We are seeing an increasing demand for such agreements, as clients wish to provide for a great degree of certainty about what might happen if the relationship does not work out, particularly where one party has brought substantial assets or family resources into the marriage or civil partnership.

It is vital that pre-nuptial agreements are prepared in good time, well before the wedding.

In all cases, it is also very important that financial disclosure takes place and that each party has the opportunity, in good time, to have independent legal advice on such agreements.

In England (unlike some other European countries and other jurisdictions), such agreements are not currently automatically enforceable. However, where properly prepared and provided they are found to be fair, they can be taken into account and, in some cases, upheld.

There are a number of ways to negotiate a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement. They can be prepared by negotiation through solicitors. Sometimes, they can be agreed through mediation or the collaborative law process.

We are acutely aware of the need for sensitivity in preparing these agreements and we seek to assist clients in such a way that enables them to agree arrangements in a positive, supportive way – mindful, of course, that the agreement is sought in the hope that it will not need to be relied upon.

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