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