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How To Get A Prenuptial Agreement

Posted on Wednesday 22nd March 2017 by Richard Perrins

More couples now are signing prenuptial agreements before they marry. These documents are becoming more accepted socially – rather than something thought of as ‘unromantic’.Prenuptial agreements solicitor Richard Perrins of Coles Miller, Broadstone

Why get a prenup? You may be worried by divorce rates. You may have been divorced before. You may have specific assets you want to protect if your marriage were to end.
 

When Should You Get A Prenuptial Agreement?

Ideally at least three months before you marry. Your agreement is less likely to stand up in court if the judge thinks you’ve rushed the process.

Hastily drawn up agreements are more likely to be challenged. They can be vulnerable to allegations of duress or coercion.

The court will look at four key factors:

  1. Financial disclosure – have both sides been honest and disclosed all their assets? Has either party tried to hide anything from the other?
  2. Did both sides have sufficient opportunity to get legal advice before signing?
  3. Was either party put under pressure to sign? Did they sign unwillingly?
  4. Is the agreement fair to both parties?


Is A Prenup Legally Binding?

No, strictly speaking. Not under current UK law – but the courts take them into account if they are fair.

Again it comes down to whether your prenup fulfils the four criteria: financial disclosure; opportunity to get legal advice; lack of duress; fairness of the agreement.


How Long Does The Process Take?

Between two to four weeks – depending on the complexity of your case.

Here’s how the process works:

  • You or your spouse contact us and arrange to see one of our family law solicitors. We can represent only one of you. The other will need to see a different lawyer at another firm.
  • We will ask you why you want a prenup. What are you hoping to achieve? Have you told your fiancé(e) about it?
  • You disclose your finances in full. Please do not forget to mention any assets. This is important.
  • We draft a prenuptial agreement for you. We discuss it with you. You approve it when you are happy with it.
  • We write to your fiancé(e), informing them of the agreement and offering them an opportunity to seek legal advice.
  • Your fiancé(e) takes legal advice – though few do in our experience – and signs the agreement.


How Much Does A Prenuptial Agreement Cost?

Between £600+VAT and £1,500+VAT, depending on how complex your case is.


What If I’m Already Married?

It may be too late for a prenuptial agreement but you can still take out a postnuptial agreement. The timescale, costs and process are similar.

But remember, the same caveats and considerations apply with regard to fairness, financial disclosure, opportunity to get legal advice, no duress/coercion. 


Find Out More About Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

For more information, contact Associate Solicitor and Mediator Richard Perrins, Head of Coles Miller’s Family Law Department, 01202 355698.

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