Pre-nuptial and Post-nuptial agreements have long been considered the exclusive domain of the very wealthy. We are frequently exposed to tabloid articles speculating whether a newly-engaged celebrity couple will be protecting their assets if their relationship were to breakdown. In 2022, there was widespread media coverage in the lead up to David Beckham’s eldest son’s marriage to the daughter of a billionaire businessman dubbing the document ‘the mother of all pre-nups’.
So, do you have to be David Beckham (or David Beckham’s son!) to benefit from this kind of protection? Our Stephanie Vyas debunks a few myths:
What is a Pre-nuptial agreement?
A Pre-nuptial agreement is agreed and signed prior to the parties’ marriage. The aim is to clearly set out how the parties’ assets will be divided if they were to later separate. A Pre-nuptial agreement can also set out how the parties’ finances will be dealt with during the marriage.
In the absence of undue influence or fraud, a Pre-nuptial agreement entered into freely with full financial disclosure and legal advice at least 28 days before the wedding will be highly persuasive to the court when deciding how assets should be divided on divorce.
What is a Post-nuptial agreement?
A Post-nuptial agreement is entered into after the parties’ marriage. The purpose is the same as a Pre-nuptial agreement, that is to protect each parties’ assets if the marriage were to breakdown.
If you have missed the chance to have a pre-nup, or if your circumstances change during the marriage, then a post-nup is for you.
How can this kind of agreement help you?
These agreements are not just for the rich and famous. It is natural and fair to protect your wealth. They could offer certainty and protection in these kinds of scenarios:
- Individuals entering a second or subsequent marriage where one or both parties have built up wealth throughout their lives. These so called non marital assets can be ring fenced and excluded from the new marriage.
- If there are children from a previous relationship/marriage.
- Business owners.
- If you have questions about your partner’s spending habits and debt history.
- Farming families in order to preserve the farm within the family.
- If you or your partner intend to be a stay-at-home parent sacrificing your career for the family.
- Those expecting to, or who have already received, an inheritance that will not be matched by their partner’s inheritance prospects.
These are everyday scenarios in ordinary life and could affect you.
You may think that this is a very unromantic topic of conversation to have with your intended husband or wife, but our partner led family team specialise in these matters and can guide you through the whole process delivering peace of mind for your future.
If you would like more information about how our specialist Family Team can help you, please click here.