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Prenuptial agreements for business owners

Protecting your business in the event of divorce

Of course, nobody gets married with the intention of getting a divorce, but it is sensible to consider the possibility – particularly if one of you owns or has a share in a business.

A strong pre or postnuptial agreement is the most effective way to protect your business in the event of a divorce as it should state clearly what belongs to whom, and how your personal and business assets are to be divided.

Although pre and postnups are not legally binding in British courts, if done correctly the court will take them into account when deciding on divorce financial settlements. These agreements can strongly influence any court decisions, as long as the court is happy that both partners entered into the agreement willingly and fairly, with full disclosure of their finances and having received the right legal advice.

Reasons business owners may consider a prenuptial agreement

  • To agree calmly in advance how assets would be shared in a divorce (rather than during the emotional time when you’re splitting up)
  • To seek total control of your business after the divorce
  • Because you believe it could be a problem to split up the business (this is often the case with family farms)
  • To safeguard or ‘ring-fence’ any inherited property or assets associated with the business, or which you wish to pass on as an inheritance in the future
  • To protect yourself or your spouse from any debts accrued by the business
  • To help with succession planning for the business
  • As a record of the business assets and who owns what
  • To prevent any disruption to the business during the divorce

Protecting the family farm

We believe all farming families should use pre or postnuptial agreements as an essential part of their wealth protection planning.

Without an agreement in place, there could be disastrous financial and family repercussions from a divorce, potentially even leading to the break-up or sale of the farm.

Often, the farmhouse has been the matrimonial home for generations. A prenup can include provisions to protect inherited farming assets (including property, farmland and machinery) or your interest in the farming business.

If other family members are involved in running your farm, a pre or postnuptial agreement can provide security for you all.

How Clarke Willmott can help

Clarke Willmott has been working with business owners and family farms for over 130 years. Such extensive experience has given us an unrivalled appreciation of the issues that can potentially arise when business interests involve family. This makes us uniquely placed to advise you on the best pre or postnuptial agreement to protect your assets and your business on terms that work for everyone involved.

Why business owners choose us

  • Our extensive experience advising business owners and farming families
  • Our expertise in all areas of family, commercial and agricultural law
  • Our broad and deep legal expertise across the firm
  • Our family law team is highly rated in Legal 500 and Chambers Guide
  • We are members of Resolution with collaborative lawyers and mediators on the team
  • Our competitive costs and commitment to tight cost control

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Contact a divorce and business specialist

For advice on creating a pre or postnuptial agreement involving business interests, call 0800 422 0123 or contact us online to arrange a confidential initial consultation. We have family law solicitors helping clients nationwide from our offices in London, Manchester, Bristol, Cardiff, Birmingham, Southampton and Taunton.

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.
View profile for Rayner Grice >

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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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.
View profile for Philippa Yeo >

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