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Prenuptial agreement solicitors

Protect assets before or during your marriage or civil partnership

If you’re about to get married, a prenuptial agreement (or post-nuptial agreement if you’re married already) can provide greater financial certainty should your relationship end in divorce and help to protect assets such as property, businesses and inherited wealth.

Our specialist solicitors have the experience and expertise to help you protect your assets, including any business interests, in the event of divorce. Call 0800 422 0123 or contact us online to arrange your initial confidential consultation.

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How our pre-nuptial agreement solicitors can help you

We can advise you on what potential claims there may be once you become married if the worst was to happen and a divorce occurred, and how best to reach an agreement between you that is fair, clear and dignified for both parties.

If you own a business, or have inherited wealth, property or other assets you regard as being ‘outside’ of the marriage, we can also provide expert legal advice on how to best protect those interests in the event of a divorce. We have longstanding experience in drafting prenups for business owners to ensure your company is safeguarded should you part ways in the future.

If you have overseas connections or interests, our international family law solicitors can draft an international prenuptial agreement for you or, if you have an existing prenup, investigate whether it is enforceable in the country where your divorce is taking place.

What is the purpose of a prenuptial agreement?

The purpose of a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement is:

  1. To protect assets acquired before marriage
  2. To protect your business or trust assets
  3. To protect your assets from your partner’s debts
  4. To protect your children’s financial interests
  5. To agree how your finances will be managed during your marriage
  6. To agree how your finances will be split if your relationship ends
  7. To strengthen your marriage by having all the above discussed and agreed in advance

1. To protect pre-marital assets

If you or your spouse has significant assets acquired prior to your current relationship, there’s no guarantee they will be protected from division on divorce. This is because of well-established principles applied by the Family Court based upon sharing and needs. ‘Non-matrimonial’ (or ‘non-marital’) property is not defined with any certainty in case law.

Entering into a pre- or post-nuptial agreement records your agreement on how your pre-marital assets will be divided should you separate or divorce in the future.

2. To protect business assets

Likewise, business or trust assets are not necessarily protected on divorce, but a prenuptial agreement can be used to ‘ring-fence’ them and agree that these will not be shared if you divorce. This can help protect your interest in a business and help avoid a situation where an ex-spouse is awarded an interest in your business and has to participate in how it is run.

3. To protect assets from the other’s debts

If you or your partner have significant debts, either now or in the future, a pre- or post-nuptial agreement can help protect the other’s assets from being used to pay them off.

4. To protect your children’s financial interests

If you’re marrying again, your existing Will will be automatically revoked and your assets might not end up with the people they were intended for, so it’s advisable to make a new Will. This is particularly important where one or both of you are coming to the marriage with assets, or if the intention is to leave assets to anyone other than your new spouse, for example to children from your previous relationship.

A prenup can be used to:

  • Specify that you both agree to make Wills to end up with the result you both desire
  • Ring-fence certain assets for children from your previous relationships
  • Set out what should happen to you and your spouse’s assets on death, to support the provisions made for your children and grandchildren in your Wills

On divorce, your Will isn’t revoked, but any gifts to your ex-spouse or their appointment as the executor will be automatically revoked. A review of your Will is advised to ensure it will still achieve your desired result.

5. To agree how your finances will be managed during your marriage

A prenuptial agreement can be used to agree and record how you intend to support yourselves financially during the marriage. For example, whether you and your spouse wish to pay for household expenses equally or in proportion to your income or assets.

Having discussions about these matters at an early stage can help ensure that you are both on a level footing, with a clear understanding of how your finances will be managed both in your marriage and in the event of separation or divorce.

6. To agree how your finances will be split if your relationship ends

No one enters marriage expecting it to fail, however agreeing in advance how your finances would be divided if it did can help avoid a great deal of uncertainty, time and stress if it does eventually break down.

It also gives you the freedom to agree your own terms, which would not be the case if your divorce financial settlement ended up in contested financial remedy proceedings, where a solution could be imposed on you by the Court.

Litigation is generally costly, protracted, time-consuming and stressful. Whilst the preparation of a pre- or post-nuptial agreement will incur costs, it’s usually much less expensive to negotiate and draft one than to litigate about the division of finances should the relationship break down.

7. To strengthen your marriage by having all the above discussed and agreed in advance

Many couples find it awkward to talk about money and finances within their relationship, let alone when they’re breaking up.

However, a prenup provides clear instructions – drawn up while both parties are in a reasonable frame of mind rather than in the emotional turmoil of a separation – and can give both of you reassurance that you are protected for the future, helping strengthen your relationship in the process.

Why choose us for your prenuptial agreement?

  • Our family law team takes a sensitive and pragmatic approach
  • We can access the entire firm’s legal expertise across many areas of law
  • We specialise in financial arrangements and divorce involving businesses
  • We are highly rated for family law in The Legal 500 and Chambers Guide
  • We are members of Resolution, and are firmly committed to its principles of a non-confrontational approach to family matters
  • We have trained collaborative lawyers and family mediators on the team
  • We always work efficiently and cost effectively

Speak to an expert prenuptial agreement solicitor

For advice on entering into a prenup or post-nuptial agreement, call 0800 422 0123 or contact us online to book a consultation.

Commonly asked questions about prenuptial agreements

What is a prenuptial agreement?

A prenuptial agreement (also referred to as an antenuptial, pre-marital or pre-civil agreement) is an agreement reached by a couple before they marry or enter into a civil partnership.

A prenup sets out exactly who owns what out of all the couple’s belongings, assets, property and money. It then lists how these will be divided if the relationship should break down.

Without a prenup, in the event of a divorce, the Court’s starting position will generally be to divide everything equally between both partners. However, the first priority will be to ensure the needs and welfare of any children are met, which can even result in one party being awarded a greater share than half. If one partner has brought more assets into the marriage than the other, they may feel resentful at the idea of an equal split, or simply wish to protect wealth from the risk of divorce.

Who should get a prenup?

You should think about setting up a prenup if you:

  • Have been married before and want to protect assets (for yourself or your children)
  • Have children from an earlier relationship and want to protect their inheritance and keep certain items or assets for them
  • Are bringing assets and/or property to your marriage that would be difficult to split
  • Have your own business or investments and want to keep control of them
  • Want to safeguard money or assets that you are expecting to receive in a future inheritance

Why get a prenuptial agreement?

Although some people may feel a prenuptial agreement is a little cold hearted, it’s actually extremely sensible. Many couples find it awkward to talk about money and finances within their relationship, let alone when they’re breaking up. However, a prenup provides clear instructions, drawn up while both parties are in a reasonable frame of mind rather than in the emotional turmoil of a separation – and can give both partners reassurance that they’re protected for the future.

Prenuptial agreements are particularly useful when one partner has, or has expectations of receiving, considerably more assets than the other. For example:

  • You own or partly-own a family farm, business or land
  • You’re expecting a significant inheritance
  • You already have a successful business and are marrying later in life
  • You’ve been married before

Are prenuptial agreements legally binding in the UK?

Currently in England and Wales, prenuptial agreements are not legally binding. However, parties should enter into them expecting them to be binding and, if done correctly, the Court will take them into consideration when agreeing your divorce settlement.

If you want to make sure your prenuptial agreement is enforceable, you and your partner must both have taken legal advice independent of each other. Your solicitors need to have advised you on the contents of the agreement and how it would affect you both if you decided to divorce.

This is important because if the Court believes one of you did not get the right advice, and that this puts either of you at a disadvantage, it can decide to ignore the prenuptial agreement when reaching a decision.

Can I get a prenup after getting married?

‘Pre’ means ‘before’, so a prenuptial agreement is one that is set up and signed before your wedding or civil partnership. However, it’s also possible to set up a similar arrangement if you are already married, which is called a postnuptial agreement. This can be agreed at any time during your marriage.

Like a prenuptial agreement, a postnup isn’t legally binding but it would be considered by the Court when making decisions on the division of assets on divorce, as long as it has been willingly signed by both of you, after you’ve each taken independent legal advice. If done correctly, postnups are seen as more binding than prenups because, for example, there are likely to be reduced concerns of duress when you’re already married.

When should I consider discussing a prenuptial agreement?

It’s important that you each have sufficient time to consider the terms of the prenuptial agreement and receive legal advice about the effect of those terms. It’s good practice to finalise the agreement well before the wedding (ideally a minimum of 28 days prior to the ceremony), so that neither of you feels undue pressure to agree.

It can take time to deal with financial disclosure, negotiations and legal advice. If either of your finances are complex (for example involving trusts, or international assets) then further time will be needed and specialist advice may be required.

How do I suggest a prenup?

We understand that this can be a difficult conversation to have, but a good approach is to see it as a way of strengthening your marriage, in that you are having open discussions about your finances from the outset.

You may suggest a prenup because of feelings about previous marriages or children from other relationships and a wish to protect assets for reasons that existed before your current relationship started. In other cases, issues arise from wealth planning, such as parents who want to pass wealth down their bloodline without the risk of it being affected by divorce. Or you may want to protect certain assets, like business interests or any personal assets/wealth that you brought into a marriage.

Suggesting a prenup can also help you discuss your financial needs, any plans you have that will affect your finances during marriage (like whether to have children), what assets you want to ringfence and why, and what each of your finances will look like if the worst were to happen and your marriage was to end.

We can assist when the time is right to discuss these matters, but the sooner you take advice, the better.

How does a prenuptial agreement affect a Will?

Ideally, an up-to-date Will would reflect the terms contained in a prenuptial agreement and vice-versa. If someone dies and their prenup contradicts the terms of their Will, it may give rise to other claims, so it’s important for you to check your Will reflects your wishes.


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Your key contacts

Rayner Grice


Rayner advises on the issues that arise for an individual following the breakdown of a relationship in relation to divorce/civil partnership dissolution, their financial affairs and their children.
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Adam Maguire


Adam specialises in divorce and family law. He advises clients regarding all aspects of private family law including cohabitation, separation, divorce and related financial issues, disputes concerning children and nuptial agreements.
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Philippa Yeo


Philippa is committed to helping couples navigate all aspects of the legal process on the breakdown of their relationship in a pragmatic, collaborative and family-focused way including supporting couples to reach arrangements for their children and achieve healthy future co-parenting relationships.
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Clare Webb


Clare has built her practice with a commitment to helping her clients resolve their issues in a constructive and conciliatory way. In doing so, she will always have regard to the longterm hopes and aspirations for the family as a whole, whilst of course protecting her client’s interest.
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