The prenup and post-nup is one of those legal terms that have worked that way into the public consciousness perhaps because they make such a thrilling twist to a murder mystery? Or seen as cheapening a romantic image of marriage? Either way a lot of people have grown up around them so it’s time to talk practically about what a prenup and post nup really is.
It’s a financial agreement that cites strong grounds of contract law; they were created as a defence against what was seen as abusive divorce strategies. After a long history of unfair divorce proceedings when one partner in a marriage is significantly wealthier than the other but they are divorced for the financial gain of the less wealthy party.
Most family solicitors Emsworth will write prenuptial and postnuptial agreements for a fixed fee after an initial meeting. With particularly high value, both parties may engage in hiring solicitors to carry out negotiations on their behalf. From legal or contract law, there is very little difference in the prenup and post nup; their name simply reflects when the contract was signed in relation to their wedding or civil partnership.
Unlike media dramatisations, most of these contracts go very smoothly and are actually mutually beneficial to both parties, clearly indicating how any potential breakup may affect them.Beyond that, they also make commitment to any possible children who are involved and parental responsibilities.
Issues arise when the parties involved are not in agreement or the estate includes complicated financial instruments and possibly overseas properties or assets. There are also tax implications to consider and if somebody has tax optimised their personal finances, prenup or postnup arrangements could be extremely complicated. Hiding assets that are to be included in any of these forms of contracts is considered an offence and could result in exposing yourself to civil litigation.
One of the most common reasons for either of these agreements is after receiving an unexpected inheritance this may radically alter the assets of one spouse, in a way that has never occurred previously in their relationship.
As an aspect of contract law the prenup can be overruled in court by either family or criminal cases, but will be taken into account as part of a family law case. It is unlikely to be taken into account in the event of any criminal proceedings; for instance if the agreements are found to be the proceeds of crime or a spouse who has parental rights under their prenuptial being prosecuted for domestic abuse, the agreements will still be debated in a family court.
The real advantage of prenups and postnup is to reach a negotiation point between two parties when they are not in a highly emotive state. In the event of a divorce, tempers run high and can result in spitful negotiations, with no meaning for inclusion. But by reading those agreements when they were on good terms with each other, couples can disentangle their personal finances and child access rights and go their separate ways happily if it ever came to it.