Protecting your assets
Married couples and civil partners have certain legal obligations to each other under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and the court will divide finances and property on divorce in accordance with this law. It is therefore essential if you are considering getting married or entering into a civil partnership and you have anything of importance which you would wish to hold on to should the relationship break down at a later stage, that you protect yourself with a prenuptial agreement (pre-civil partnership agreement).
A pre nup (or pre cip) is an agreement made between you and your future husband/wife/civil partner before the marriage/civil partnership, to detail assets such as:
- a house you may have owned before the relationship started
- inherited property
- valuables such as cars, jewellery or artworks
In fact, the document can outline anything of importance to you that you would wish to keep if your marriage or civil partnership fails at any stage. It can also include information on the wealth each partner brought into the relationship and, in the event of a split, the pre nup can be placed before the court for its consideration when deciding on a financial settlement.
We have a range of free family law guides on matters relating to property and finances on divorce, arrangements for children and more. Go to our Free Guides page to download the brochures.
Protecting your business assets
If you own or have a share of a business you may wish to protect this from any possible future claim by your spouse-to-be. In your prenuptial agreement, you will need to have agreed that your future spouse waives all rights to interest in the business in the case of divorce or your death. Alternatively you may wish to have an agreement in place for your future spouse to have the option to buy any shares you may own in a business in the event of your death.
Protection against creditors
If your spouse-to-be has incurred substantial debts before your marriage, it is important to have a prenuptial agreement if you wish to protect your assets from being seized by creditors in the event of divorce or your death.
If you have assets that you would like to protect then our family lawyers can discuss the viability of entering into a prenuptial agreement which will set out your intentions as to what will happen if you break up.
Legal advice on pre and postnuptial agreements
It’s possible to make a marital property agreement regarding the intentions for your wealth and assets at any time during your relationship. It’s important that both parties seek individual family law advice before signing an agreement and that no pressure is put on either party to sign. Before considering the contents of any prenuptial or postnuptial agreement the court will want to make sure that each party signed the agreement with full knowledge and understanding of the its ramifications.
Please call our family law solicitors for help or advice on 020 8290 7992 for our Bromley team, 01732 446374 for Sevenoaks, 020 7481 6393 for central London or 01483 284567 for our Surrey team. Alternatively email your enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org. We offer a fixed fee, no obligation one hour interview so that we may provide you with initial advice and suggest the options for your next course of action.