Pre-Nuptial Agreements seek to regulate and/or limit the financial obligations and claims that either party may have against the other in the event of the breakdown of their marriage.
Although not enforceable in English law, it is a matter of public policy that parties to an agreement cannot exclude or oust the jurisdiction of the Courts in England and Wales to entertain any claim for financial relief within divorce proceedings.
During divorce proceedings a Court can be invited to consider the Pre-Nuptial Agreement as one factor that should be taken into account. The Court can look at the agreement and decide (given all the circumstances) what weight they should attach to it. As such, Pre-Nuptial Agreements are becoming increasingly popular in this country.
The Court’s duty in financial proceedings is to decide what a fair solution is, having considered all of the circumstances. It should be noted therefore that the treatment of a Pre-Nuptial Agreement in financial proceedings will vary from case to case.
When considering what weight should be placed on a Pre-Nuptial Agreement, the Court may take many factors into account, including whether both parties have made full and frank disclosure of their finances, whether both parties have had the opportunity of obtaining independent legal advice and when the Pre-Nuptial was signed.
The Attwaters Jameson Hill Family Law team has developed a specific expertise advising on the content and the drawing up of Pre-Nuptial Agreements.