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Pre and Post Nuptial Agreements (UK and International)

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Increasing numbers of engaged and married couples are choosing to sign prenuptial and postnuptial agreements because families are better informed about the benefits of family agreements.

Top London family law solicitors are asked “what is the difference between a prenuptial agreement and a postnuptial agreement?”. A prenuptial agreement is signed before the marriage takes place. A postnuptial agreement is signed after the marriage.

Family law solicitors normally advise that couples do not wait until after their marriage to sign an agreement. However, a postnuptial agreement can be useful, for example, if after a marriage, a family member wants to gift or leave money to their married child, but wants to protect the family wealth from divorce.      

OTS Solicitors and prenuptial and postnuptial agreements 

To speak to family law solicitor, Behzad Sharmin or to a member of the London based OTS Solicitors family law team about family law agreements please call us on 0203 959 9123 for an initial discussion about how we can help you with a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. If you prefer you can contact us through our online enquiry form.

At OTS Solicitors, we know that calling a family solicitor to discuss signing a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can be the last thing that you want to do as part of your wedding or estate planning. However, family law solicitor, Behzad Sharmin, will put you at your ease with friendly professional legal advice.

Behzad Sharmin and our team of caring and committed family law specialists at OTS Solicitors follow some simple goals:

  • To understand what type of family law agreement you need;

  • To gather personal and financial information to help understand your goals and advise you on the agreement;

  • Work with you and your accountant, financial advisor and any international family law solicitors to ensure that the agreement meets your needs;

  • Draft or review the agreement and ensure that the agreement is signed with the minimum of fuss.

Why choose OTS Solicitors for your prenuptial agreement

OTS Solicitors think that family clients need and deserve a family law solicitor who:

  • Will listen to what you want in your prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement;

  • Understands the need to approach the discussion about the contents of your prenuptial  or postnuptial agreement with your partner (and their solicitor) with sensitivity; 

  • Will take the time to explain your options and what should be included in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. The advice is bespoke to you and will depend on yours and your partner’s personal and financial circumstances;

  • Advise you on how best to ensure that your prenuptial or postnuptial agreement will be followed or carry weight with the court;

  • Will help you prepare a new Will because of your planned marriage or any change in your family circumstances after your marriage.

Reasons for signing a prenuptial agreement

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements stop or limit financial claims if a couple separate after marriage. Without a family agreement in place, a spouse can make claims for spousal maintenance, cash, property, a business and pensions. A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can stop either all or some of those claims. The agreement can set out the exact financial provision a spouse will receive in the event of separation or divorce, or limit their financial claims.

Who should sign a prenuptial agreement?  

Anyone planning to marry should consider a prenuptial agreement and take legal advice from a top London family solicitor on benefits of a prenuptial agreement and their options.

 A prenuptial agreement may be particularly sensible if you or your partner:

  • Own shares in a family business;

  • Own your own property;

  • Have savings and investments;

  • Have a pension that is of sufficient value that you or your partner want to ring-fence the pre-marriage value of the pension fund;

  • Are a beneficiary of a trust fund or are likely to receive significant lifetime gifts from family members or inherit property;  

  • Have children from previous relationships;

  • Hope that the marriage will last but want peace of mind and the financial security that a well-drafted prenuptial agreement offers.

When should you sign a prenuptial agreement?

Most people think that a prenuptial agreement can be signed at any time before the wedding date. However, family law solicitors advise that a prenuptial agreement should be signed:

  • No more than 12 months before the planned wedding;

  • Not less than 28 days before the wedding – this is to reduce the prospect of allegations of coercion. In some scenarios, agreements are signed less than 28 days before the marriage but this is a factor that a court takes into account in any subsequent divorce and financial proceedings when assessing how relevant the prenuptial agreement is.

What is essential for a prenuptial agreement?

In addition to the prenuptial agreement needing to be completed at least 28 days before the wedding, the prenuptial agreement also requires:

  • Financial disclosure;

  • Independent legal advice;

  • The agreement has to be fair to both parties to the agreement and meet needs.

International prenuptial and postnuptial agreements  

If you are an international family, have overseas connections or property or have multiple choices of divorce jurisdiction you may need an international prenuptial or postnuptial agreement and advice.

If one or both of you are not British citizens then you could potentially still sign a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in the UK but you will need advice on whether it is in your interests to do so, or to choose an alternative court jurisdiction.

OTS Solicitors will work with your family lawyers in alternate court jurisdictions to assess whether your interests are best served by a UK prenuptial or postnuptial agreement or the preparation of a UK mirror agreement after your family agreement is prepared overseas.

Where there is a possibility of a choice of different jurisdictions, it is essential to get expert legal advice from specialist family solicitors. That is because where you sign the prenuptial or postnuptial agreement and the choice of jurisdiction may have an enormous effect on whether the family agreement will be upheld in its entirety and on its contents.

OTS Solicitors family agreement services  

At OTS Solicitors, our dedicated team of London family law solicitors can help prepare and advise on:

  • Mirror prenuptial or postnuptial agreements where a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement has been signed overseas;

  • Civil partnership agreements;

  • Separation agreements;

  • Cohabitation agreements;

  • Declarations of trust;

  • The relevance of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement after a separation has taken place and how the court will consider the family agreement in any financial court proceedings;

  • Review any existing prenuptial or postnuptial agreements to take into account any review provisions or because of a significant change in family or financial circumstances. 

For expert family legal advice delivered in a caring but professional manner, contact OTS London family law solicitors today for an informal chat on how London family solicitor, Behzad Sharmin, and the family law team can help you. Call us on 0203 959 9123 or contact us using our online enquiry form to discuss how we can help you.     
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