Harold G Walker

Harold G Walker Solicitors

Your Friend-In-Law for over 77 years

– A Practical Guide–

 

Cohabitee disputes, Property rights and separation, Divorce Solicitor, Family and Relationships Legal Advisors Christchurch Rob Price, Family Law solicitors, Divorce lawyer, Matrimonial finances and divorceSadly, not all marriages last. The statistics are in the region of 60 per cent chance of success these days. We are receiving many enquiries from people who are considering entering into a pre-nuptial agreement prior to marriage in an effort to safeguard their own assets in the event that the marriage doesn’t work out.

 

Over the last 15 years or so, as these agreements have presented themselves before the courts, some dating back to around 2005, where marriages have subsequently reached an end with disputes then  arising between couples about enforceability of them or otherwise.

Provided that the following steps have been taken, the law is now clear. The court will take these agreements into account when ultimately deciding how the division of family assets is affected by the existence of the pre-nuptial agreement.

 

  • The agreement must be treated as a contract between you, which can only be rebutted if it is seen to have been completed by one of you under duress or undue influence or indeed mistake.
  • You must each at least have had the opportunity to obtain legal advice, but realistically, you both really ought to do so, because this is an important agreement, and you must enter into it with your eyes open to the legal requirements and implications.
  • You must have the agreement prepared and completed at least 28 days before the date of your marriage, although you ought not leave it until that late, so give it plenty of time, at least three months before the marriage, to discuss and agree the finer details.
  • You must each disclose your assets at the time of the agreement. These will be annexed to the agreement. It is called full and frank financial disclosure, and these must be disclosed with true values transparently.
  • The agreement must be considered as reasonable and fair at the outset, so make sure that it does not place one of you, or a child. in a position of financial hardship. It is unlikely to be included as part of the factors that the court considers when determining a financial outcome catering for respective needs and fairness.

 

It is important for you to be aware that in the event of a future dispute about the fairness or otherwise of a pre-nuptial agreement at a time of separation between you, it is only one factor that the courts take into consideration when determining overall need and fairness.

 

Each case that is disputed is determined on the individual circumstances of your family dynamic and one size does not fit all.

 

However, leaving everything to chance can render you very vulnerable, so if you would like to talk to us about the advantages of these agreements, feel free to book an initial free half-hour consultation with us.

 

Rob Price

Associate, Family Law Solicitor

01202 482202