Project Description

Pre + Post Nuptial Process

LSL Family Law Linda Lamb

These are agreements made by a couple who are about to get married. This may not seem very romantic but it may be sensible, for example, if either wants to protect assets for their children from a previous relationship or protect assets that they have inherited. Pre-nups are not strictly binding on the court if there is a later divorce but will be followed unless unfair. To make the agreements as strong as possible there should be full financial disclosure by both and the agreement should be prepared well in advance of the wedding to avoid the suggestion of undue pressure. The agreement needs to consider what you both brought into the marriage: family home; property given or inherited; money in joint accounts; debts; pensions; money saved during the marriage; points when the agreement should be reviewed; if either should receive maintenance and if there are any children during the marriage.

Post-nuptial agreements

If you are already married, you can enter into an agreement about what you intend to do with money and property if the marriage were to end. This would often be if there was not enough time before the marriage to prepare a pre-nuptial or there had been a separation and reconciliation. Fairness is again the main consideration. The points that apply to pre-nuptials also apply. There needs to be full financial disclosure by both. The post-nuptial will deal with exactly the same things as listed in the information above about pre-nuptial agreements.

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Pre + Post Nuptial: A Case Study

Problem

My client’s previous marriage had resulted in acrimonious and costly divorce proceedings. He wished to protect his assets for his adult children as he had considerable property and a large pension.

Solution

Both my client and his new wife-to-be had been married before and they wanted clarity should the marriage end. The wedding was in two months, giving enough time for both to provide the other with full financial disclosure, and for them both to obtain independent legal advice and get a pre-nuptial agreement drafted.

Outcome

The agreement was prepared well in advance of the wedding and then signed by them. On the day of the wedding both were pleased that all their children could be reassured that the marriage was not about any financial gain.

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