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Nuptial Agreements

A nuptial agreement can help you and your partner agree in advance which assets should be part of your “separate” or “marital” property. Our expert team can advise you on this...

Nuptial agreements: to do or not to do?

A nuptial agreement can help you and your partner agree in advance which assets should be part of your “separate” or “marital” property.

What makes a qualifying nuptial agreement?

The Law Commission’s recommendations

On 27 February 2014, the Law Commission published a report which recommended legislative reform to make nuptial agreements legally binding.

Legislative reform has not taken place but it is worth bearing in mind and applying the criteria below in order to ensure that your nuptial agreement ticks all the right boxes as and when reform takes place.

The criteria are:

The agreement needs to be validly executed (as a deed). As part of the execution requirements your signature will need to be witnessed. The agreement should contain a statement in which you confirm that you understand that the agreement is a qualifying agreement that will remove the court’s discretion to make financial orders on divorce except to meet financial needs.

You should agree and execute the agreement at least 28 days before the wedding.

You will both need to provide details of your financial circumstances. This is known as disclosure. Normally you provide detail of property, bank accounts, investments, business valuations, pensions, income and any other material information.

You will both need to obtain independent legal advice.

The agreement must not prejudice the rights of any children.

The agreement should meet the needs of both parties. Depending on the circumstances this may include provision for both income and capital needs. Needs are fact specific. Not only will they be dependant on the specific circumstances of each couple but they are also likely to change in time.

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