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Atifha Aftab

Article written by Atifha Aftab, Solicitor, Family department 

Nuptial Agreements are usually made before or during a marriage or civil partnership and set out how a couple’s assets should be split if they separate. In this article, we explore Nuptial Agreements and the reasons why married couples should consider one.

1) Protection

A Nuptial Agreement sets out how a couple would divide their finances in the event of a divorce or dissolution. The Nuptial Agreement would detail how the couple wish to split assets that have been purchased during the marriage. This could relate to property purchases, investments, or business interests.

The Court would seek to follow the terms of the Nuptial Agreement when the terms agreed are fair and reasonable. Assuming specific guidance was followed when the Agreement was reached, the Nuptial Agreement would offer the best form of protection available in the event of a separation.

2) The monetary impact

Nuptial Agreements are set up to save a couple time, money, and stress. Should a couple separate without a Nuptial Agreement, negotiations, which could take 1-2 years to resolve, would be necessary. The costs of negotiations and Court appearances are likely to be a lot more expensive than the cost of a Nuptial Agreement and when you consider the emotional impact and subsequent stress that comes with that, a Nuptial Agreement could be the best alternative.

3) Flexibility

A Nuptial Agreement is an adaptable document that can be tailored to the couple’s needs. It can deal with a solitary asset or set out how every asset should be divided in the event of a separation. Nuptial Agreements can be updated as and when the couple feel it is necessary and can include review clauses at specific intervals or for key events such as the birth of a child. The couple have control over the use of such terms.

4) Timing

Nuptial Agreements can be completed during the engagement phase or the marriage. The aspect of timing should be considered as an alternative to a Pre-nuptial Agreement (before the marriage) or a Post-nuptial Agreement (after the wedding or prior to a separation).

5) Collaboration

A Nuptial Agreement can be completed while the couple are in a relationship and have more of a focus on the practical and financial considerations at hand. Attempting to resolve such issues at a time when emotions are high or when separation is not necessarily a ‘mutual decision’ can be more challenging. A Nuptial Agreement therefore aids the prospect of a fair and amicable agreement between both parties.

For advice on Nuptial Agreements or to discuss a particular Family Law matter further, please feel free to email me or contact the department on 020 8858 6971.