A wedding or civil partnership often provokes thoughts about the future and the plans we have in place regarding property, finances and other assets that are accumulated during the course of a lifetime. Planning for even the most undesirable of eventualities can often mitigate potential conflict or disputes arising at future stages of a relationship. A Pre-Nuptial Agreement can provide clarity for couples throughout the course of a relationship, and serve to reduce some of the legal disputes that can escalate between couples at what may be a very difficult and emotional time.
Pre-Nuptial Agreements have inherited a poor reputation from the media and high-profile cases that frequently misrepresent a prejudicial picture of the purpose and value these agreements have for many couples. However, Pre-Nuptial Agreements can be very useful and they play a pivotal role in a court’s decision regarding the division of assets. It is for this reason that Pre-Nuptial Agreements can pacify the process of divorce or separation, making it a less fractious experience for all involved.
A Pre-Nuptial Agreement is a formal document that is settled between a couple before entering into a marriage or civil partnership (in which instance the agreement is recognised as a Pre-Civil Partnership Agreement), that records their agreed wishes in relation to how financial assets, business ownership, property, as well as other matters will be managed in the event of divorce.
All assets accumulated by one partner in a marriage or civil partnership, whether bought together or individually or newly created, will form part of the matrimonial assets owned by the couple. This is often a convenient and mutually beneficial arrangement during a relationship; however, upon separation or divorce, a decision must be made regarding the division of wealth and assets.
In Scotland, despite the enforceability of a Pre-Nuptial Agreement never having been tested in the courts, they are universally regarded as legally binding.”
Once you and your partner have decided to put an agreement in place, you will both require to think carefully about what you would like to include in it. Our team of expert Pre-Nuptial Agreements Solicitors will guide you through the process from start to finish. We understand that planning a wedding or civil partnership can already be a stressful time without further complications or demands on your time. We will listen to and discuss your intentions and expectations, review the benefits and drawbacks of entering into a Pre-Nuptial Agreement and advise on the best course of action moving forward. No two Pre-Nuptial Agreements are the same; our team will draft a bespoke agreement specific to you and your partner’s wishes and based on a detailed analysis of the assets owned individually by both parties.
Pre-Nuptial Agreements should most importantly address the division of assets, including property, business ownership, investments and income, and clarify in detail how these should be apportioned in the event of a divorce or separation. Our team of Family Law Solicitors will advise on what is best in your personal circumstances and draft a precise and clear agreement encompassing all assets owned by you and your partner and addressing relevant contingencies.
The provisions of a Pre-Nuptial Agreement should be reasonable to both parties, up-to-date, subject to regular review and accurately drafted following full disclosure of all assets held by either party. We therefore strongly advise that both parties seek independent legal advice to ensure the underlying fairness and reasonableness of the agreement. Our team will work collaboratively with your partner’s legal representatives during the course of discussions and negotiations, and will work diligently to draft an agreement that serves both parties while protecting your long-term interests.
As well as specialising in matters concerning Pre-Nuptial Agreements we offer a full range of Family Law services.
Preparing a Pre-Nuptial Agreement does not have to be a daunting or disheartening experience. It can be a valuable planning exercise that provides clarity and peace of mind, helping couples understand exactly where they stand at the very beginning of a marriage or civil partnership.
A Pre-Nuptial Agreement should be considered if:
At Miller Samuel Hill Brown, Family Department understand that Pre-Nuptial Agreements are sensitive matters requiring an empathetic and diligent approach. We will work collaboratively with you and your partner’s legal representatives to negotiate and draft a fair and reasonable agreement. We have a longstanding reputation of providing excellent legal services.