Divorce & Family

Pre-Nuptial Agreements

It is not just celebrities who sign Pre-Nups. Over the last five years or so they have become increasingly common, although they are still relatively rare. Typically what lies behind them is that one half of the happy couple is in a much stronger financial position than the other; they are concerned that if the marriage turns out to be a disaster they will have lost half of everything.

Their concern is often shared by their family. Alternatively, a couple may be entering their second marriage and one or both of them may have children from a previous marriage or relationship. The couple may be looking to protect the assets they each bring to their marriage, primarily for the benefit of their own children.

Pre-Nups are not very romantic! We think they can be a good idea. Money is at the root of many problems but if the inequalities in a couple’s resources is a possible source of friction between them, then a Pre-Nup might allow them each to at least ‘park’ the problem for a while.

The law concerning Pre-Nups has been considered by the Supreme Court in the Radmacher case.There was inevitably a flurry of press coverage of the case but we have not noticed a flood of clients asking us to prepare PreNuptial Agreements. We think the significance of the Radmacher case was probably over-stated initially; it is best seen as affiming a trend that was already underway.

Post-Nuptial Agreements (agreements made during the marriage)

A couple may wish to record agreements they make during the marriage; these may sometimes be the result of a review of their original Pre-Nuptial Agreement. Similar considerations apply to the ones outlined above for Pre-Nuptial Agreements.

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