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How to Enter into a pre-nuptial agreement

This information was last updated: 25 February 2016

A pre-nuptial agreement is an agreement that you and your partner enter into before your marriage or civil partnership. It sets out what you both intend should happen to your assets, such as properties or savings, should your marriage or civil partnership come to an end. The Courts in England and Wales are increasingly willing to hold people to these agreements if they are freely and willingly entered into.

The key points to bear in mind when considering entering into a pre-nuptial agreement are as follows:

  1. There must be no undue influence or pressure from one party on the other to sign the agreement.
  2. There must be full and frank disclosure to each party of the other party’s assets and liabilities.
  3. Each party must obtain their own independent legal advice.

It is advisable that any pre-nuptial agreement is entered into at least 21 days before the wedding, to avoid any suggestion of pressure or influence.

If the above criteria are met, and the Court is satisfied that the agreement is not unfair and that there have been no unexpected and unforeseen circumstances, the Court is likely to find that the parties should be bound by the agreement that they entered into.

The pre-nuptial agreement is a strong evidential document to show the Court what it was that you and your partner intended to happen to your assets in the event that your marriage comes to an end.

Procedure

Each party must obtain independent legal advice. This means that they must see solicitors in different firms, and must not attend any appointments together.

One solicitor will draft the agreement with their client, and the other will consider it with their client and make any necessary amendments before the document is executed.

The process can be very quick, and may be dealt with within a week if all parties are in agreement and any disclosure is made promptly.

Can we help?

We are able to offer competitive fixed fees for either the drafting, or the settling of a pre-nuptial agreement. Please contact Mavis on 0208 885 7986 who can provide further information, or arrange a mutually convenient consultation

Disclaimer

The information provided in this How To: is general advice and information and Wilsons Solicitors LLP accepts no liability for its applicability to the facts of your individual circumstances.

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