Marital Agreements (Prenuptial, Postnuptial)
Protecting your assets from claims that could be made following the breakdown of a relationship or divorce is vital. Second or subsequent marriages are now more common, and very often when people get married there is a difference in their financial positions. Protecting inherited wealth or assets acquired from a prior marriage can be a dilemma.
Pre-Nuptial Agreements and Post Nuptial Agreements are becoming increasingly popular. Divorce Courts are now more prepared to take into account the contents of such an Agreement on a divorce taking place and there is likely to be legislation in the future that will provide a formal legal basis for Pre-Nuptial Agreements in England and Wales. At the moment Pre-Nuptial and Post Nuptial Agreements are not automatically binding on a Divorce Court, but in the right circumstances can be upheld, so it is important that they are entered into with proper safeguards to try to ensure that they are going to be binding in the future.
Post Nuptial Agreements have also been developing and can in some cases carry even more weight than a Pre-Nuptial Agreement. Good practice is for a Pre-Nuptial Agreement to be converted into a Post Nuptial Agreement after a marriage.
Ensuring the continuity of a family business following the divorce of two of its key personnel can be a problem. Completing a Shareholders Agreement where such a family company is involved is an important aspect of asset preservation. This can provide for how shares in a family company can be dealt with if there is a divorce between shareholders. Sometimes a Trust can be set up for this purpose and making a Will is an essential starting point.
Taking control of your financial position when contemplating getting married is now possible. Whilst no one gets married thinking that it will end, statistics show that more than one in three marriages do now result in divorce with the figures being even higher for second marriages. At Hayes + Storr we will advise you on all of the options that are available so that you can plan ahead and try to make financial arrangements rather than leaving this to the uncertainty and the discretion of a Court on a divorce taking place.
It is important to get your advice early and before making any final decisions. We offer a reduced rate fixed fee appointment for all new clients. Please request the family department on 01328 863231 in the first instance for all new family enquires.