Nuptial agreements, whether entered into before marriage (pre-nuptial) or after marriage (post-nuptial) are not currently legally binding in England & Wales. However, in recent years the courts’ attitude to such agreements has changed significantly. In the well-publicised case of Radmacher in 2010 the Supreme Court stated “the court should give effect to a nuptial agreement that is freely entered into by each party with a full appreciation of its implications unless in the circumstances prevailing it would not be fair to hold the parties to their agreement.”
The courts now attach far more weight to such agreements and this has led to an increase in demand from those looking to protect their wealth, pre-acquired assets and inheritance.
In February 2014 the Law Commission published recommendations to Parliament about the future legal status of nuptial agreements. Consequently, there is an expectation that legislation will be introduced to recognise nuptial agreements as contractually binding in circumstances whereby those agreements have been properly negotiated following full financial disclosure and appropriate independent legal advice.
In the meantime best practice for those considering entering into a nuptial agreement is that both parties receive independent legal advice and, if the agreement is a pre-nuptial agreement, that it is approved and signed not later than 28 days before the date of the wedding.
We offer various options for negotiating, including collaboratively. Our team will ensure the approach to the nuptial agreement negotiations will meet your needs and expectations. We are experienced in dealing with these negotiations and the wider family issues that can arise and offer advice and assistance to support you.
Read our articles and guides on Nuptial Agreements.