How much is a prenuptial agreement? - Family Law Partners

How much is a prenuptial agreement?

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When couples marry or enter a civil partnership, they do not anticipate the relationship will fail and the topic of nuptial agreements can be considered unromantic. However, nuptial agreements are becoming increasingly common as couples prioritise certainty and to understand what would happen in the event of a divorce/dissolution.

Individuals can be upset to learn that assets they considered theirs may form part of the matrimonial pot capable of division on separation (e.g. assets held in their sole name, property, inheritances/gifts, companies, trusts, pensions etc).

Nuptial agreements can be entered into before (pre-nuptial) or after (post-nuptial) a couple marry or form a civil partnership.  Whilst nuptial agreements are not presently legally binding, provided certain requirements are met they are likely to be given significant weight in the event of a divorce/dissolution and may be upheld and therefore have value.

It should not be assumed that such agreements are reserved for the wealthy. Forming a nuptial agreement is often linked to life changing event, for example;

  • Marriage/Civil partnership;
  • The birth of a child;
  • Buying property;
  • Creating a company;
  • Protecting current or future inherited wealth/estate planning;
  • Becoming a beneficiary of a trust and/or protecting trust assets; and/or
  • Protecting third party interests in assets (i.e. gifted family assets, companies, pensions).

An agreement records with clarity what would happen if the relationship broke down.

How much do they cost?

Nuptial agreements are bespoke documents which are tailored to the couple’s individual circumstances detailing the ownership of belongings and how these will be divided upon separation to meet individual needs and allow a person to seek to protect their separate assets. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach.

A specialist solicitor will be assigned to your case and their hourly rate will be based on their level of expertise. Our fees are charged on a time incurred basis. A straightforward nuptial agreement, where negotiations are likely to be limited, may cost within the region of £2,000 – £4,000 plus VAT. This includes the cost of an initial meeting, drafting or reviewing an agreement, providing written advice, amending and negotiating any potential terms and attendance at any subsequent meetings to finalise and sign the agreement.

For more complicated nuptial agreements, including ones which may involve protracted negotiations and/or intricate drafting, fees may cost within the region of £4,000 – £10,000 plus VAT.

After an initial consultation with one of our solicitors, you will be provided with an individual time and cost estimate which considers the level of work required and the complexities involved in your specific circumstances.

For most couples, the upfront cost of putting in place a prenuptial agreement far outweighs the likely cost of a lengthy, or acrimonious dispute should the relationship break down in the future.

More information

For more information, please review our three-part blog series on key information and considerations regarding nuptial agreements, including how to strengthen the chance of them being upheld:

Charlotte Plowman is an experienced family law specialist within our Horsham team. If you would like further information regarding nuptial agreements, please feel free to contact Charlotte or another member of our dedicated team for a confidential discussion about your personal circumstances.

2 responses on “How much is a prenuptial agreement?

  1. A great post, Charlotte and thank you for diving into that ticklish subject of costs. I agree with your numbers. I think costs can be saved 1) with good precedents to help those intending to marry to focus on the key issues and likely structures 2) where there is practice of meeting before drafting and 3) where agreements are in plain English rather than containing pages and pages of scary repetition (and occasional inconsistency)! Also 4) keen to see more of these managed with our family coach and financial planner colleagues to the fore. Suspect we have much we agree on here.

    1. Hi James

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my blog. I agree entirely with your comments. With our Director of Wellbeing, Kim Crewe, we wish to ensure clients are supported through such processes and additional input from a family coach and/or financial planner will no doubt benefit many couples entering into nuptial agreements. I am pleased to hear we align in adopting a holistic approach, alongside a need to minimise costs and complexities.

      Best wishes

      Charlotte

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