Marry knowing that it is for love and not money. This prenuptial agreement (also known as a pre-marital agreement) helps you to sort out your affairs, plan how you will divide your current and future wealth between you, and tie up loose ends, if you decide to divorce or separate in the future. It will help you control your ownership of important assets such as your house, sentimental possessions and your business.
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About this document
A prenuptial agreement sets out how assets and liabilities will be divided if you separate permanently or if your marriage ends.
Making a plan in advance should help you avoid expensive divorce settlements, help you keep items of sentimental value such as family heirlooms or property, and help you control who inherits your wealth.
Many people consider it to be unromantic to plan for what would happen on break-up shortly before a wedding or civil partnership. However, preparing a prenup emphasises that the reason for marriage is love and not money, and can give both people confidence about what will happen should the marriage fail.
Why use this agreement
- provides security during and after marriage to both people
- avoids future disputes over how assets should be split and what each person contributed
- helps speed up the divorce process and saves divorce costs
- helps ensure that items with sentimental value remain with the person to whom they matter most
- helps ensure that the people you choose (such as children from an earlier relationship) inherit your wealth
- prevents your wealth from being given away shortly before break-up
- helps protect business assets from being split and sold
- makes a separation less emotionally stressful by removing the need to negotiate over as many things
Are prenuptial agreements legally binding?
Prenuptial agreements are not legally binding, despite a recommendation by the Law Commission to make them so.
A UK court will take one into consideration, but remains free to impose any other financial settlement the judge rules appropriate to the circumstances, particularly with respect to arrangements for children.
A settlement is more likely to be in line with any nuptial agreement the couple made if the agreement:
is fair and reasonable, both when it was made, and at separation
is flexible and allows for review and modification at a later date, such as following the birth of any children
The parties must demonstrate that:
each person considered and understood the implications of entering into the agreement, and were truly happy with it.
it was not signed under duress or coercion, and not entered into in haste
each person gave full disclosure about their personal wealth at the time of signing
To satisfy these conditions, couples are likely to have to:
take separate, independent legal advice (not necessarily from a solicitor) as to the implications of their agreement
sign the agreement well before the marriage or civil partnership so that there is a sufficient “cooling off period” in which to back out or change the terms
It will always be the case that a well written, sensible, prenuptial agreement is highly likely to influence the judge's decision as to what the final division should be.
We also stock a simpler version of this document that has been written for couples who are likely each to be financially independent before the marriage or partnership and for whom the concern is about ensuring that wealth and assets remain in the possession of whichever one brought them in, should the marriage fail.
We expect that this alternative document will be more suitable for older couples who have already accumulated wealth, and who perhaps are marrying for a second time.
This agreement has been written to help you to comply with the suggested legal requirements.
This document covers a very wide range of possible outcomes and also deals with many matters to be agreed during your marriage. This coverage is not legally binding for the reasons discussed above, but enables you to define your intentions over broad areas.
There is extensive coverage of property, possessions, investments.
Children arrangements are covered only broadly and briefly, because a judge will make an order based on what he sees at the time of separation.
This agreement covers the following:
- the parties' personal details
- relevant dates and application of principles likely to be required by law
- ownership of the home now
- separate ownership of property and possessions
- many alternative arrangements for ownership of assets
- joint bank account
- sharing living expenses
- children arrangements and after separation
- property of each party remains his own
- dealing with family home
- children arrangements
- financial support of children
- financial maintenance of one of you by the other
- prevention of one person reducing joint wealth before separation by giving away assets
- dealing with family company and / or jointly owned business
- capital calculation and transfer
- promise of confidentiality
- if one of you should die
- other legal provisions to protect your interests
- final statement of understanding of legal requirements
This document was written by a solicitor for Net Lawman. It complies with current English law.
What other customers thought
Average customer rating
By Paul Kelly 04 July 2016
A complicated topic explained very logically with links to any further explanations needed eg difference between agreements and deeds.
Found the whole process very straight forward.
There were a couple of hesitations where I had to double check the instructions and think more carefully but nothing that warranted reducing the overall review to a lesser star rating.
I would not hesitate to recommend the diy services of Net Lawman.
By Andrew Start 15 May 2014
Very easy to follow.
By Ian Ford-Robertson 05 July 2016
By Chris Underwood 05 February 2014
An excellent document, more detail than I required but I was able to remove clauses which were simply not applicable. Advice has been sought by both parties from High Street lawyers and it has been approved more or less as drawn. There would be no point in not both taking independent legal advice.
I would use your services again and recommend to others.
By KENNETH SHUTTLEWORTH 08 January 2014
Well the document looks comprehensive. But my daughter thinks I should be using the personal services of a solicitor. She is of the opinion that your document will be less effective. I also wonder about the benefit of using this document, but I do realise it positively states each partners assets & situations. Only complication from my position is that my fiancée is Thai who only understands basic English. Perhaps you can advise.
Net Lawman responds 10 January 2014
Both sides do need to understand the consequences of what they sign. Our use of plain language gives you an advantage with this document over many other pre-nuptial agreement templates that you can obtain elsewhere, but if you believe that your fiancée may be able to later claim that she didn't understand the law, you would be safest to ask a solicitor to explain the consequences to her.
At the end of the day, the choice is yours. At the very worst, if you instruct a solicitor, you will still be able to edit what he produces to include all the material in the Net Lawman document you have bought!
By David Holloway 08 July 2016
To complicated ,to much legal jargon ,
Not what I wanted.
I needed a plain and simple agreement which I found on another site.
After all prenups are not really legally binding.
Net Lawman responds 07 August 2016
A common mistake is to assume that because a pre-nup is not binding today it will not be binding tomorrow. There is a strong body of opinion in senior family law circles that we should follow Australia, New Zealand, and others in making a pre-nup binding - subject to conditions. The Net Lawman version covers those conditions as far as possible - as well as providing a shed load of sound, practical propositions. Furthermore, even today, a judge will "take note" of the terms of a pre-nup even though he/she will not say that she/he has relied on it.
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