For most married couples and civil partners, making decisions about what will happen to their money and property should they divorce will be the last thing on their mind.
However, careful and sensible planning for the future can be hugely beneficial should the worst happen, offering clarity and certainty and helping to avoid the stress and acrimony that can sometimes be associated with a separation. Having such agreements in place can be particularly beneficial for high net worth couples as the nature and extent of individual and matrimonial assets can make the process of reaching a settlement on divorce a drawn-out and complex one.
Having a postnuptial agreement in place enables the wishes of both parties to be respected and provides financial protection for both themselves and their assets. The putting in place of formal agreements of this type is becoming increasingly common, with many couples choosing to view these in much the same way as they would the drafting of a Will. With a high number of marriages ending in divorce and an increasing trend whereby couple marry in later in life having already acquired assets and wealth, a postnuptial agreement offers a pragmatic solution to help identify and separate assets without the need for costly court action.
The family solicitors at Miller Samuel Hill Brown are on hand to provide legal advice of the highest standard when it comes to preparing postnuptial agreements. We always strive to handle matters sensitively, paying close regard to your relationship as well as your long-term interests. Our family lawyers can have as much or as little involvement in deciding the terms of your agreement as you prefer – some clients will have a clear idea of the key terms of their proposed agreement, while others may wish for guidance on the appropriate structure and financial provisions contained within. Whatever your circumstance, we are available to help achieve consensus as quickly and straightforwardly as possible.
We will negotiate directly with your spouse's legal representatives in a manner of your choosing, either by arranging meetings, in writing or by telephone. Our solicitors will support you through the financial disclosure process that is required for your prenuptial agreement and ensure you are fully aware of its terms throughout the drafting stage. Should you wish to come to an arrangement with your partner directly, we can provide guidance and provide support to put this in writing. We are also able to work with colleagues in our private client department to advise on matters such as succession planning and tax implications.
Speak to one of our prenuptial agreement solicitors today to find out how we can help.
Postnuptial agreements are made by spouses or civil partners to determine how their assets will be divided if they divorce or separate. Many people may be aware of prenuptial agreements, which couples will enter into before their marriage or civil partnership. Prenuptial and postnuptial are similar in many respects – the primary difference is the time at which these agreements are made, with postnuptial agreements being entered into after the marriage or civil partnership.
Yes, postnuptial agreements are legally binding in Scotland. If a couple signs a postnuptial agreement, this will be taken into consideration when it comes to achieving a financial settlement following separation. For many years, the courts in Scotland have recognised ‘marriage contracts' as being legally binding. A common misconception exists regarding the validity of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements in Scotland, often as a result of the Scottish and English courts historically taking different approaches to such agreements. English courts have traditionally refused to give effect to these documents, although this has changed in recent years.
Postnuptial agreements offer an inexpensive and straightforward means of establishing an agreement on financial settlement and provisions for any children should a marriage or civil partnership end in separation. Reaching consensus on these matters can be one of the most challenging, stressful and expensive consequences of a divorce. Postnuptial agreements allow plans to be put in place at an early stage without the risk of disputes escalating and the need for court proceedings.
Postnuptial agreements can also be utilised to make specific financial arrangements, such as ensuring that a particular asset held by one of the spouses prior to marriage will continue to remain in their possession following a divorce. They can also be used in circumstances where parents wish to pass on assets to their adult children who are already married. A postnuptial agreement would offer protection to the parents in this scenario, guaranteeing that the asset that has been passed on will remain with the child for whom it was intended.
When couples with substantial financial resources separate, the process of reaching a mutually agreeable settlement can be particularly complicated due to the presence of high-value assets such as properties, business interests, investments and pensions. In many cases, there may be jurisdictional issues if these assets are held overseas. Our solicitors are experienced in acting on behalf of clients who wish to protect their wealth, as well as those seeking to claim their fair share in the event of a divorce. We are experts when it comes to dealing with complex and high-value matters, taking a pragmatic and professional approach throughout, and can advise on the most practical solution for you and your family.
At Miller Samuel Hill Brown we provide clear, expert advice on all aspects of family law. Our solicitors are friendly and approachable and are always on hand to address any questions or issues quickly. Throughout your dealings with us, we will regularly update you with any developments and always endeavour to explain matters in plain English as part of our client-focused approach.
Based in Glasgow City Centre, our family lawyers also help clients in Glasgow's West End, South Side, Paisley and across Renfrewshire, Lanarkshire and Central Scotland. Let us help you. Please contact our specialist family lawyers on 0141 413 9618 or fill in our online contact form.