Pre-Nuptial and Pre-Cohabitation Agreements

The Independent on Sunday reports (26/07/2015) that when Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner announced plans to divorce it could take years to split their supposed £74m fortune.

Unlike their peers they did not have a pre-nuptial (pre-nup) agreement and consequently negotiation on division of assets is commenced at a time of potential acrimony.

• Is it just for rich people?

You may get the impression that a ‘pre-nup’ is just for rich people but there are many circumstances in which it makes good sense.

One common example is where somebody intends to marry or cohabit in later life and wants to ensure that their assets go to their children rather than their spouse.

• Does it show a lack of commitment?

Most people are reticent to discuss a ‘pre-nup’ prior to marriage or cohabitation. They think that their intended will be hurt or affronted and that it shows a lack of commitment.

The reality is somewhat different. There are many situations where a pre-nup or pre-cohabitation agreement just makes good sense. Prior to buying a house together it makes sense to identify who has paid what towards it so these amounts can be identified and repaid on future sale or separation.

If somebody has built up substantial assets prior to entering a relationship it makes good sense to identify these as a value should things not work out.

A lot of relationships commenced in later life involve children on both sides. Parents always want to ensure that their own children are provided for in the future.

• Is it enforceable?

Pre-nuptial agreements are not strictly legally enforceable. The court’s position is that it has unfettered discretion when deciding on financial matters. That is not to say that a pre-nuptial agreement is not heavily influential. Indeed, courts try to uphold them, especially if both parties went through a collaborative process and were separately legally represented.

• How much will it cost?

Most solicitors will charge an hourly rate. For a straightforward agreed pre-nuptial or pre-cohabitation agreement Bhatia Best will charge a fixed fee of £500.00 plus VAT.

Contact one of our pre-nuptial agreement solicitors
for your free initial consultation
on 0115 950 3231