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    How effective are prenuptual agreements and do they protect my assets?



    Prenuptial agreements are contracts made between two individuals in the context of a family relationship. Their aim is to ensure the parties’ respective assets are divided in a predetermined way in the event of the parties’ divorce or separation. Prenuptшal agreements are not governed by Family law legislation but rather by contract law principles. 

    Whilst they are not officially recognised in the UK, the Supreme Court has more recently opened way to their application in the Courts in the landmark decision in Radmacher v Granatino UKSC 2010 whereby the Supreme Court gave the prenuptual agreement in this case “decisive weight” when considering how heavily the parties could rely on the document in divorce and financial settlement proceedings. 

    Who should get a prenuptial agreement?

    There is a common misconception that prenuptial agreements are only for celebrities and the ultra-wealthy. This is in fact not the case. 

    Prenuptial agreements can be useful in circumstances where one party has built up savings from years of employment before their marriage or even if they are expecting to accrue wealth in the foreseeable future due to a change in circumstances such as a promotion. 

    Maybe you just want to protect a family home you inherited that has great emotional value. 

    What elements form a valid prenuptial agreement?

    A prenuptial agreement is no more than a contractual agreement between two parties. It requires much the same elements as other contracts to be valid. Most importantly however, it should be fairly written without bias and signed by both parties. 

    What assets can it include?

    In a prenuptial agreement it is essentially up to the parties to negotiate. However some assets that are typically included can be inter alias:

    1. Family home
    2. Any other real estate/properties
    3. Money/savings
    4. Investments
    5. Pensions 
    6. Valuable personal chattels

    When can I enter a prenuptial agreement?

    Prenuptial agreements should be entered into before marriage. However if you are already married and are concerned as to how to protect your assets Postnuptial agreements serve much to the same purpose.

    How much does a prenuptial agreement cost?

    The cost of a prenuptial agreement can vary depending on the complexity and assets. 

    Our price range starts at £600 plus VAT ranging to £1300 plus VAT. 

    How long will it last?

    As a contract its duration can either be expressed or if not it will last indefinitely. 


    Nico Serafino (nico@sterling-law.co.uk

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