Pre-nuptial & Post-nuptial Agreements

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Making plans for what would happen if your marriage ends in divorce might seem unromantic, but in reality it can make a marriage stronger by giving both spouses real peace of mind about their future financial security.

At Lewis Denley, we are here to make your life easier. Our Family Law team can offer clear, friendly and sensible advice on pre-nuptial agreements and post-nuptial agreements. We can assist with getting an agreement in place, advise on an agreement you have been asked to sign and give guidance on how an agreement may apply during divorce.

You can benefit from the expertise of Senior Associate Solicitor Marwa Hadi-Barnes, who has over 14 years’ experience helping people with all aspects of family law, including pre-nuptial agreements and post-nuptial agreements.

Marwa has been recognised for her standout expertise in leading client guides the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners. She is a member of family law network Resolution, an organisation that shares her commitment to removing conflict from family law.

Based in central Horsham, our pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements lawyers help clients across Sussex, Surrey and beyond, including in Rudgwick, Billingshurst, Crawley, Ewhurst, Gatwick, Copthorne, Pulborough, Dorking, Reigate, Godalming, Guildford, Midhurst and Brighton.

Our pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements pricing is clear and transparent, with options including fixed fees to suit you.

We take pride in being approachable, helpful and here for our community.

We offer a free 30-minute consultation with Marwa Hadi-Barnes to discuss your pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement and how we can help.

How we can help you with pre-nuptial agreements and post-nuptial agreements

Making a pre-nuptial agreement

Pre-nuptial agreements can be very complicated, so it is important to get specialist legal advice before signing.  Not only will this ensure it reflects your best interests, but it will help ensure the agreement is upheld.

At Lewis Denley, our family lawyers can help with:

  • Advice on what to include in a pre-nuptial agreement
  • Drafting a pre-nuptial agreement
  • Reviewing a pre-nuptial agreement you have been asked to sign
  • Negotiating terms of a pre-nuptial agreement

Making a post-nuptial agreement

When considering a post-nuptial agreement, you need to seek specialist legal advice. This gives you the best chance of securing a fair agreement that will have legal standing if you ever need to rely on it in the future.

Our family lawyers in Horsham can help with:

  • Advice on whether a pre-nuptial agreement is still valid or needs to be replaced with a post-nuptial agreement
  • Advice on what to include in a post-nuptial agreement
  • Drafting a post-nuptial agreement
  • Reviewing a post-nuptial agreement you have been asked to sign
  • Negotiating terms of a post-nuptial agreement

Advice on the application of pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements during divorce

If you have a pre-nuptial agreement or post-nuptial agreement and are planning to get divorced or divorce proceedings have been initiated, you are likely to want to check what this means for your situation.

Our Horsham family lawyers can help with:

  • Advice on whether a pre-nuptial agreement or post-nuptial agreement has legal standing
  • Clarifying how an agreement will impact the divorce settlement you are likely to achieve
  • Advice on your options if you wish to challenge a pre-nuptial agreement or post-nuptial agreement

Pre-nuptial agreement and post-nuptial agreement FAQs

What is a pre-nuptial agreement?

A pre-nuptial agreement (sometimes called a ‘pre-nup’) is a document signed by two people getting married that sets out what would happen in the event that their marriage ends in divorce. They are usually focused on financial matters but can cover anything a couple feels it would be useful to clarify in advance.

How is a post-nuptial agreement different to a pre-nuptial agreement?

A post-nuptial agreement (sometimes called a ‘post-nup’) is essentially the same as a pre-nuptial agreement but can be made at any time during the marriage.

Are pre-nuptial agreements and post-nuptial agreements legally binding?

Pre-nups are not technically legally binding under English law, however, following the landmark Radmacher v Granatino Supreme Court ruling in 2010, pre-nuptial agreements have generally been held to be enforceable, as long as certain conditions are met.

For a pre-nuptial agreement to carry full weight, the following conditions should be met:

  • Both parties must have entered into it of their own free will, without undue influence or pressure
  • Both parties must be informed of the agreement’s implications
  • Each party needs all the information that is material to his or her decision

The Law Commission also advises that the agreement is signed at least 28 days before the date of the wedding.

The agreement should also meet both parties’ needs. Additionally, the couple’s circumstances should not have changed substantially since the agreement was signed. If, for example, the couple have had children and provision for this was not made in the pre-nup, then there is less chance of this being upheld.

What should be included in a pre-nuptial agreement or post-nuptial agreement?

The pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement needs to reflect your circumstances and concerns. However, in general, it should include all of the assets that each of you owns, both jointly and individually.

A typical pre-nuptial agreement or post-nuptial agreement will set out what should happen to assets such as:

  • Your family home
  • Any other property either of you owns
  • Savings
  • Shares and investments
  • Pensions
  • Cars and other vehicles
  • Business interests
  • Pets
  • Any other assets or items with financial, practical or sentimental value

Can a pre-nuptial agreement be modified?

It is very common for people’s circumstances to change once they have been married for a while – for example, they may have had children or have received a substantial inheritance. In such cases, this change of circumstances could mean that a pre-nuptial agreement signed before the marriage took place would need to be reviewed.

If you wish to modify your pre-nuptial agreement to reflect a change in circumstances (or simply because you are no longer happy with its contents) then you may need to create a post-nuptial agreement instead as a replacement. This will give you the same protection as a pre-nup but can be made at any time after your marriage has taken place.

Can I get a post-nuptial agreement if I am planning to get divorced?

Many people will find themselves thinking about a post-nup if they have concerns that their marriage might be about to fail. A post-nuptial agreement could allow you to agree with your spouse how your finances will be divided in advance of starting divorce proceedings to help make the divorce process simpler and less stressful.

You may also wish to consider making a separation agreement if you are not yet sure whether your marriage or civil partnership can be saved and want a trial separation.

A separation agreement will set out how financial matters and other practical issues will be dealt with in the short term e.g. how your mortgage will be paid, who gets to stay in the family home etc. This can allow you to try living apart, while giving you both financial certainty.

Can you get a pre-nup or post-nup for a civil partnership?

Yes, there are equivalent types of document for civil partnerships. The equivalent to a pre-nup is usually called a pre-registration agreement or pre-civil partnership agreement. The equivalent to a post-nup is usually called a post-registration agreement or post-civil partnership agreement.

These agreements offer you the same protection as a pre-nup or post-nup and follow essentially the same rules.

Our pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements fees

The legal costs involved in getting expert legal advice on a pre-nuptial agreement or post-nuptial agreement can be a concern. We are committed to transparency with our family law pricing, so will always be upfront about the costs involved, including our fees and any third-party costs.

We offer fixed fee advice where appropriate and will be happy to discuss all the likely costs involved once we have a clearer picture of your requirements, which is something we can cover during your free initial consultation.

Book a free 30-minute consultation to discuss a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement

We want to make it as easy as possible for people to protect their future financial security with a pre-nuptial agreement or post-nuptial agreement. If you have any questions about how we can help you navigate this essential issue, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Our specialist pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements solicitor will be happy to offer a free 30-minute consultation over the phone or via videoconference.

To arrange your free 30-minute consultation, please contact Marwa Hadi-Barnes today.

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    Marwa Hadi did a first class job.  I would recommend her to anybody.

    Thank you very much Marwa.  I just wanted to say that your efficiency and helpfulness has been of great help to me through what has obviously been a very difficult time for me.  I would be happy to recommend your services to anyone else I know who finds themselves in this situation.

    Thank you so much for all your hard work and good solid advice along the way.  I am very pleased with the outcome and feel I can finally start to think about building a new life for me and the children.

    I just wanted to thank you for all your help. I really couldn’t have hoped for a better result and I was so worried. I can only thank you for your kindness. Your response to the pension report made excellent reading and I could tell that a lot of work had gone into it.

    I am very grateful for all the support you have provided me with over this very stressful time and you have always been utterly professional, thank you

    I would like to thank you for all the patience and assistance you have given me during this time and for getting me through to the end with my health, sanity and pension untouched

    Just a quick message to say thank you for all your help in resolving my divorce efficiently. You are a credit to your profession

    I just wanted to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks to you for all your efforts over the last year. It has been a very stressful time to be and I’m glad that you managed to achieve what we set out to achieve in that I’m having contact with my daughter