Wealth Protection on Divorce

Helping ensure your property and other assets are protected should your marriage breakdown. 

Nuptial Agreements

In England and Wales there is no statute that recognises pre- and post-nuptial agreements. However there has been significant case law where Judges have taken into account the term of the agreements when considering the division of assets on divorce.

What is a pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreement?

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A pre-nuptial agreement (commonly referred to as ‘pre-nup’) is an agreement that sets out the agreed settlement of property and other assets should the marriage breakdown. The agreement provides parties with the protection of inherited family wealth, should there be a wealth difference between the parties. 

Similar to a pre-nup, a post-nuptial agreement is entered into for similar reasons. The post-nuptial agreement is entered into post-marriage and may be pertinent should there have been a financial change in the course of the marriage.

What goes into a pre-nuptial agreement?

When entering into a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement we recommend considering the following as a starting point:

The wealth of each party
Any significant likely inheritance or gifts from family
Future trust funds
Family businesses
Ring-fenced assets acquired prior to the marriage
Existing debts

N.B. this is not an exhaustive list and not intended to be relied upon in the absence of legal advice.

"We understand that it can be difficult to have a conversation about the division of financial assets should you divorce, when in the process of entering into the marriage. We deal with negotiations in a sensitive manner, understanding the emotional and future financial significance of these discussions."
Kiran Reyat, Head of Family Law, Comptons Solicitors

Cohabitation Agreements

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It is becoming increasingly common for couples to reside together and have children without considering entering into marriage or a civil partnership. The law does not protect cohabiting couples with any specific rights over property or any other assets.

What should a cohabitation agreement cover?

When entering into a cohabitation agreement, we recommend considering the following as a starting point:

Property

The legal shares each person will have, plus how the mortgage payments and other property costs will be split.

Savings

Details of how any savings amassed during the marriage will be split.

Debts

Details of how any outstanding debts will be settled.

Pensions

Any adjustments that will be made to pension schemes post-divorce.

N.B. this is not an exhaustive list and not intended to be relied upon in the absence of legal advice. Similarly to nuptial agreements, cohabitant agreements are not legally binding by statute, however Judges will be guided by the terms. 

Looking for help to protect your wealth and assets?

Our specialist team can assist you in protecting your property, other assets and inherited wealth pre- and post-nuptials. To book an appointment with one of our family law solicitors, call us on T: +44 (0)203 869 4466 or contact us via email.