Pre-Nuptial Agreement

Why have a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

When you are planning a wedding, you do not expect to get divorced.  However, for some people, having an open conversation about their finances and how they will be dealt with in the unfortunate event that the marriage did come to an end, can avoid conflicts or costly litigation later down the line. 

Pre-Nuptial Agreements are particularly a good idea where couples have significant assets that have been built up before their relationship, that they want to protect. Where there are children from a previous relationship, it enables the parties to preserve their own respective assets to leave as inheritance. 

It is also possible to enter into an agreement after the marriage, known as a Post-Nuptial Agreement.

Is a Pre-Nuptial Agreement binding?

The courts have power to make financial orders on divorce and no agreement can oust those powers or prevent the other spouse for making a financial application to the court. However, the existence of a Pre-Nuptial Agreement is one of several factors that can be taken into consideration when determining those claims, and they have increasingly gained recognition from the courts over recent years. Significantly in a case in 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that the terms of the Pre-Nuptials should be followed provided they are fair and reasonable (both in how they were created and the effect they will have), they will meet the parties’ needs following separation, they have been entered into voluntarily and each party provided full and frank disclosure of their financial position. 

If a Pre-Nuptial Agreement is to carry any weight, therefore, it must be properly drafted and the criteria laid down be the courts must be adhered to. Both parties should obtain their own independent legal advice. 

What can be included within the Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

The contents of a Pre-Nuptial can be tailored to the individual circumstances of the couple who are entering into the agreement. Some common provisions that may be included:

  • What will happen to the matrimonial home?
  • How will any jointly owned property be dealt with?
  • How will property in the couple’s respective sole names be treated ?
  • How will savings and investments and contents be divided? 
  • Will one party pay spousal maintenance  to the other in the event of separation or divorce?
  • If one or both parties own a business, how will this be treated in the event of a divorce or the death of a spouse?
  • What will happen to the parties’ pensions, particularly where these have been built up before the relationship?

How can Staffordshire Family Law Solicitors help?

Our solicitors are not only have knowledge of law relating to pre-nuptial agreements, they are also practitioners in financial remedy proceedings. This means they are familiar with the financial  issues couples face on divorce,   helping you to pre-plan for these. They are also have the experience to advise on courts view cases on divorce. 

On receiving Pre-Nuptial instructions, our aim is to:

  • deal with the matter sensitively, taking into account that this can be a delicate matter to raise with your partner.
  • provide legal advice helping you understand your legal rights and obligations under the agreement, as well as any potential risks or benefits associated with the terms of the agreement.
  • negotiate an agreement that both protects your assets but will also meet the “fairness test” so that it is more likely to be upheld by the courts on divorce.
  • Drafting the agreement based on your specific needs and circumstances, and helping you understand the terms and provisions of the agreement.
  • Where you have received a Pre- Nuptial Agreement drafted by your partner’s lawyer, we will advice you upon it and negotiate any amendments required to protect you.
  • Where you have entered into a Pre-Nuptial but are now, unfortunately, divorcing, we can advise you on the legality of the agreement and represent you in financial proceedings where the effect of the Agreement is being considered by the Courts…


If you need assistance, contact one of our solicitors at [email protected] or call 01785 336617 for expert legal advice