What are pre nuptial and post nuptial agreements?
It is a document in which a couple come to an agreement over their respective assets. A pre-nuptial (or ante nuptial) is entered into before marriage and a post-nuptial is entered into after marriage.
These agreements set out what will happen to each party’s assets if the marriage should break down and end in divorce.
When you marry, your assets become part of the matrimonial assets and unless they are specifically covered under a pre or post nuptial agreement, they can be considered as joint assets which can be divided between you.
What are the benefits of these agreements?
Divorces by their very nature are, unfortunately, nasty, contentious, time consuming and expensive. These agreements can ensure that the outstanding issues in the breakdown of a marriage are narrowed and thus avoid expensive and time consuming litigation.
These agreements can give couples a piece of mind as to the security of their assets.
How quickly can one of these agreements be made?
It is advised that couples allow for a period of at least 28 days before their marriage to begin the process of a pre-nuptial. This is due to the fact that there are various steps which need to be taken to ensure that a pre-nuptial agreement can be relied upon by a Court should the marriage break down.
Couples will need to seek independent legal advice, have complete disclosure of assets, ensure that there is no pressure for the agreement to be entered into and make sure that they fully understand what they are getting into.
We advise that for your agreement to have maximum effect, couples enter into both a pre-nuptial and a post-nuptial agreement.