Prenuptial agreements are increasingly common, especially for couples where there is a significant difference in their assets and/or income, or where either party has children from a previous relationship whose financial security and future inheritance they wish to protect.
Having a prenuptial agreement or ‘prenup’ can give both you and your partner certainty over your financial responsibilities during your relationship and what will happen if your marriage doesn’t work out. This not only gives you peace of mind, it can also significantly reduce the potential for conflict if you do one day separate.
While prenuptial agreements are not currently legally binding in England and Wales, as long as they are prepared correctly, they will normally be upheld by a judge if required during divorce proceedings subject to needs being met. It is therefore essential to work with a family law team with specialist experience dealing with prenuptial agreements so you can be confident the right process has been followed and all of the necessary legal details accounted for.
Our Family Law team are accredited by the Law Society in Family Law Advanced and Children Law, reflecting our expertise in the more complex areas of family law, including prenuptial agreements and cohabitation agreements.
We can provide clear guidance for all issues related to prenups, including drafting and reviewing agreements, negotiating the terms of an agreement and advising you on the application of a prenup during divorce proceedings.
Our team can also help with updating a prenuptial agreement if your circumstances change following your marriage (creating a postnuptial agreement) and creating cohabitation agreements for unmarried couples.
Our family lawyers take instructions nationally working out of four local offices across South West Wales, in Carmarthen, Haverfordwest and Narberth, so please contact your local Hains & Lewis team to arrange an initial appointment to discuss any matter related to a prenuptial agreement.
How we can help you with a prenuptial agreement
Drafting a prenuptial agreement
We can advise you on what to include in a prenuptial agreement and make sure the agreement is executed properly, so it will have legal standing if you ever need to rely on it in future. Our family lawyers can help you make sure your prenup is fair to both parties and that your future financial security is appropriately protected.
Reviewing a prenuptial agreement
If your partner has asked you to sign a prenup their solicitor has prepared, we can review the document for you and advise you on whether we believe the agreement is fair with respect to your long-term interests.
Negotiating a prenuptial agreement
Ideally, you and your partner will agree the terms of the prenup together before the agreement is drafted. We can advise you during negotiations over the contents of your agreement or negotiate amendments to an agreement your partner has asked you to sign.
Updating a prenuptial agreement/postnuptial agreements
It is really important that you update your agreement if your circumstances change during your marriage, for example if you have children, if one or both of you start a business, or if either spouse receives a significant inheritance. A prenup that does not account for these types of changes is likely to be set aside by a judge during divorce proceedings.
We can help you to create a postnuptial agreement at any time during your marriage to reflect a change of circumstances. Postnups can also be used if you did not create a prenup and want to achieve the same kind of security and peace of mind after you are married.
Unmarried couples have no automatic legal right over each other’s property, income or other assets, in spite of what you may have heard about ‘common law marriage rights’. This means that if you live with your partner without being married and you separate, you would not be entitled to any kind of financial settlement.
Creating a cohabitation agreement allows you and your partner to agree terms for what would happen if you separate, including any financial settlement that would need to be made, what would happen to your shared home and what arrangements would be needed for any children you have together.
Advice on the application of a prenuptial agreement during divorce
If you are considering divorce or divorce proceedings have been initiated and you have a prenup, our family lawyers can advise you on what affect the agreement is likely to have.
We can review your agreement and your situation and provide guidance on whether a court is likely to take the prenup into consideration or whether there is likely to be room to negotiate more favourable terms for your separation.
Our fees for prenuptial agreements
Fixed fee prenuptial agreements
We are sometimes able to offer services related to prenuptial agreements on a fixed fee basis. For example, drafting a straightforward prenup or reviewing a prenup, depending on the circumstances. This gives you complete certainty over the costs involved.
Hourly rates for prenuptial agreements
For more complicated issues, such as negotiating prenuptial agreements or where there are complex assets to consider, we may agree to work on a ‘pay as you go’ basis, according to a pre-agreed hourly rate. This means you pay for the exact amount of time we spend dealing with your prenuptial agreement, with all billable work agreed in advance.
Speak to our prenuptial agreement solicitors in Carmarthen and Pembrokeshire
To arrange an initial consultation with our family lawyers in South West Wales to discuss a prenuptial agreement, please contact your local Hains & Lewis office in Carmarthen, Haverfordwest or Narberth.