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Family and Matrimonial Law

Pre-nups and Other Agreements

Entering into an agreement with your partner, whether it be before marriage or on separation, is often the most pragmatic and cost-effective option. Our expert lawyers can either draft such an agreement or provide advice on an agreement that your partner has drawn up.

As a result of our wide-ranging experience advising clients in respect of the breakdown of personal relationships, we understand what matters are important and what therefore should be dealt with in agreements being entered into both before marriage and on separation. Our lawyers will discuss your specific situation with you before effectively advising you as to the contents and form of your chosen agreement.

Pre and post-nuptial agreements

For many couples, pre and post-nuptial agreements are often a sensible option. Our team regularly provides realistic advice to parties considering entering into such agreements and helps individuals decide the best way forward for them.

Pre-nuptial agreements are agreed upon before the marriage and are typically entered into because one party wishes to protect pre-acquired or inherited assets. They are becoming more common as a result increased financial input from parents and grandparents. Whilst the English courts may not have given much weight to pre-nuptial agreements in the past, this is changing and it is likely that the court would now follow the terms of a well-drafted, clear and fair document.

Post-nuptial agreements are conversely entered into after marriage but before a separation. They are often used by individuals who may have separated and then reconciled as the possibility of separation is live in their minds. If you have already separated and will not reconcile, you may wish to think about a separation agreement instead. As with a pre-nuptial agreement, whilst not necessarily binding, the terms of a post-nuptial agreement will be given weight by a court if a dispute arises on separation.

Each agreement is different, we know that there is no one size fits all and will effectively draft an agreement that fits your situation. Alternatively, we can provide clear and detailed advice on the contents of a document that has been drafted by your partner. Our lawyers regularly advise on financial disputes after a relationship breakdown and effectively use their expertise in this area to instruct how both pre and post-nuptial agreements should be drafted and what important elements they should contain.

Separation agreements

Separation agreements can be used by both married and unmarried couples to govern matters such as finances, arrangements for the children, and what is going to happen to the former family home.

Whilst it is not always possible to agree on matters in all cases, it can be helpful to try and come to some form of an agreement as this enables you to retain control over how the separation progresses. We will therefore always, unless obviously not appropriate in the particular situation, explore this option with our clients.

Separation agreements are of particular use when parties do not want to or do not feel ready to divorce, but unmarried couples can also enter into such agreements. We will provide expert advice to any person wishing to consider their options.

Civil partnership agreements

Before entering into a civil partnership, a couple may wish to consider whether they would like a pre-civil partnership agreement which, like a pre-nuptial agreement, would govern how their finances are to be dealt with if they separate. Couples can also enter into post-civil partnership agreements if they so wish.

The law is applied to pre or post-civil partnership agreements in the same way that it would be applied to a pre or post-nuptial agreement and our lawyers will use their wide-ranging expertise to effectively advise you as to the suggested content and form of an agreement.

Each pre-civil partnership agreement is understandably different. We know that one size doesn’t fit all and we will effectively draft an agreement that deals specifically with your situation. Alternatively, we can provide clear and detailed advice on the contents of a document that has been drafted by your partner.

Meet the team

Melissa Arnold
Partner

Family and Matrimonial

Alison Leivesley
Partner

Head of Family and Matrimonial

Maud Davis
Associate

Family and Matrimonial

Hannah Marshall
Associate

Family and Matrimonial

Marianna Michaelides
Associate

Family and Matrimonial

Maeve Lucey
Solicitor

Family and Matrimonial

Safina Mitha
Solicitor

Family and Matrimonial

Megan Rothman
Solicitor

Family and Matrimonial

Shanaz Ali
Trainee solicitor

Family and Matrimonial

How can we help you?

We are here to help. If you have any questions for us, please get in touch below.