It is often common that married couples buy their first home together with unequal contributions to the purchase price, own assets of value prior to meeting their spouse, or find that their wealth increases during the marriage.
Depending on circumstances, such as the length of the marriage and the age of any children, such pre or post marital acquired assets are likely to be considered as assets of the marriage. Whilst the Court can take into account financial contributions from one party, this only tends to happen in short childless marriages as the effect of one parties' financial contributions to a marriage diminish over time and both parties' contributions, whether as bread winner, home maker or a bit of both, are seen to be equal.
Although pre-nuptial agreements are not technically legally binding as no Act of Parliament has been passed to date, making them so. However, the Court must have regard for all of the circumstances of the case, and has a wide discretion in doing so.
Following the 2010 Supreme Court decision in the case of Radmacher v Granatino pre-nuptial agreements are likely to be binding if:
- they are prepared properly;
- both parties have given full financial disclosure;
- both parties have taken legal advice;
- neither party is acting under undue influence;
- the agreement is entered into and signed in good time before the wedding; and
- the agreement is fair.
Parties entering into such agreements on this basis must do so with the clear understanding that the Court is unlikely to depart from the terms of the pre-nuptial agreement.
In order to protect all your assets, you should have a pre-nuptial agreement in place. This will save you both the uncertainty, time stress and financial cost of potentially having to issue Court proceedings to resolve your finances if you do later separate or divorce.
Please contact us for a free initial appointment on 01708 229444 or visit the Family Law page on our website to book an appointment. Pinney Talfourd Solicitors has a large team of experienced family lawyers with significant experience in dealing with issues surrounding pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements.