Higgins Miller are experts in the field of family law. We specialise in helping clients through those difficult periods when legal matters coincide with emotional stress and anxiety, such as the end of a marriage or the death of a loved one. We have the expertise and experience needed to tackle difficult issues such as divorce, wills and probate and domestic violence, and that means that we are the ideal people to approach if you’re looking for expert prenup solicitors.
In the relatively recent past, the idea of consulting prenup solicitors was something which was regarded as the preserve of the very rich and famous. A combination of factors such as changes in society and the rising value of the property have changed this, however, so that many more ‘ordinary’ people are thinking about the option of consulting prenup solicitors to protect their existing assets before they enter into a marriage. The following could be perfectly valid reasons for a client to come to us and ask for the advice of our expert prenup solicitors:
- You’re getting married and you want to make sure that the property you own will be safe if things don’t go well
- You’re marrying for the second time and want to protect the settlement you received at the end of your first marriage if the latest marriage leads to another divorce
- You want to marry without the stress of worrying about arguments over who has a right to which asset in the event that things go wrong
- Both partners are entering the marriage with assets of their own and feel a prenup agreement will keep matters much more straightforward if things don’t go to plan
- You’ve been married previously and want to ‘ring-fence’ the assets you wish to pass on to any children from a previous marriage in the event that this second marriage doesn’t last
In simple terms, a prenup agreement is a document which sets out clearly what rights each half of a couple has to any assets, income, property and debts. This will cover assets which each partner entered the marriage having already acquired, as well as those which were acquired after marriage, whether those assets were purchased on an individual or joint basis.
When should I get a prenup agreement?
As any of our prenup solicitors will tell you, it’s never too early to start thinking about drawing up a prenup agreement. The legal status of prenups is still something of a grey area, and so the chances of any prenup agreement being upheld by a court are much stronger if it was planned and drawn up carefully and calmly in the months leading up to a marriage, rather than being pulled together in haste just a few days before. Advance planning of this kind will also enable you to access the advice of our expert prenup solicitors, who will make sure that the details of the prenup are exactly as they should be. In addition, the fact that both partners have access to independent legal advice avoids the risk of someone claiming, in the future, that they were pressured into signing a prenup and didn’t really fully understand the implications. It also means that if, as is often the case, one partner has much more to potentially lose by signing a prenup agreement, they will fully understand exactly what it is they are agreeing to.
The first stage of creating any prenup agreement involves both partners fully disclosing their financial status. Once it’s been established exactly what the partners are bringing to the marriage they can sit down with prenup solicitors and set out the terms of the agreement in as much precise detail as possible. Factors to be considered will include:
- What happens if one partner loses their job?
- What happens if you have children?
- How will you deal with pensions?
- How will any assets acquired after the agreement is signed be dealt with?
It would also be wise to set out the terms on which the prenup will be reviewed from time to time. A long marriage can see the financial situation of either or both of the partners change significantly, and this could have a bearing on whether the prenup still carries any force in law if things do go wrong. Reviewing the details on a regular basis can help to ensure that this doesn’t become a problem.
It may be tempting, in the run-up to the big day, to think that you can simply draw up an agreement on your own, without the help of prenup solicitors. This would be a mistake, however. Currently, prenup agreements are not strictly legally binding, but the courts are much more likely to uphold them if they have been prepared in the correct manner, with all the relevant details included and no legal loopholes left in place. The kind of changes mentioned above – such as what happens if one partner leaves work to concentrate on childcare need to be taken into account, and our prenup solicitors will make sure that nothing is left to chance. If you’d like to ask us anything about prenup agreements, or talk to one of our prenup solicitors, please call us on 0161 429 7251 or email us at [email protected] We’ve recently passed our Cyber Essential accreditation, something which demonstrates our forward thinking attitude and determination to remain ahead of the competition. Our first 20-minute appraisal is provided free of charge, and we’ll give you a fixed fee first appointment, so you don’t have to worry about how much our advice is going to cost. If you want to explore our wider charging system then please take a look here.