The Price and Value of a Prenuptial Agreement

Higgins Miller are experts in family law, and that means that we tend to deal with people going through some of the most stressful and important events in their life. This can mean issues as varied as divorce, wills and probate and interactions with social services, and in all cases we work in a sympathetic and supportive manner. We always combine up to the minute legal advice with empathy and a clear and transparent way of working. At every stage our clients will know exactly what is happening and how much they will have to pay for our services, something which is the case when people come to us seeking help with a prenuptial agreement.

We always answer questions on the cost of our services as clearly and fully as possible. We know from experience that many people hesitate when it comes to accessing the legal help and advice they need because of fears that the cost can quickly spiral out of control. We work to ensure this isn’t the case in two ways. Firstly, we always seek to deliver our services as quickly and efficiently as possible, avoiding lengthy conflict and argument wherever we can. Secondly, we deliver our legal advice in a transparent and easily-understood manner, in an effort to ensure that clients don’t delay seeking the kind of legal help that could stop them making potentially costly mistakes. 

In the case of a prenuptial agreement, this advice could prevent conflict in the event of a relationship coming to an end, and could protect the assets of one half of the partnership if any such conflict does arise. In many cases, a prenuptial agreement is required when one partner in a marriage enters that marriage with a considerable degree of wealth. The motivation behind creating a prenuptial agreement will often be a desire to protect this wealth and make sure that it is in place to pass on to the children of previous relationships. A prenuptial agreement will document how the assets of a couple will be divided in the event of a divorce, and the intention is that it removes uncertainty and precludes the stress, cost and inconvenience of a court case being used to settle the issue if the relationship does end.    

One fact to be borne in mind when considering the cost of a prenuptial agreement is that currently, agreements of this kind are not 100% legally binding in England. In spite of this, several cases have clearly shown that judges are prone to take what an agreement says into account when deciding on things such as how assets should be divided. Prenuptial agreements only have a chance of being upheld if certain conditions are in place, however, and these conditions include the following:

  • Both partners should have taken independent legal advice when creating the agreement, a condition which emphasises the importance of speaking to experts like those at Higgins Miller
  • The agreement should include a full and honest disclosure of all of the assets of each partner at the time it is entered into
  • The agreement should not have been entered into under duress
  • The agreement should not be drawn up less than 21 days before the marriage itself.

The court will also look at issues such as whether the agreement is fair and realistic, without favouring one partner clearly over the other. To make sure that this continues to be the case, any prenuptial agreement you enter into should be reviewed and updated on a regular basis. This will enable it to be altered to make allowances for developments such as the birth of children, the parties starting a business together or one partner giving up work to become a home maker. 

In many cases, the cost of a prenuptial agreement will depend upon how complex the individual agreement actually is. We don’t currently provide a fixed fee prenuptial agreement service, but we do set a minimum fee of £600, which can rise depending upon the nature of the issues involved in the agreement. No matter how complex the agreement becomes, we ensure that clients know exactly how much they will be paying at every stage of the process, and we know from experience that the money spent on drawing up an effective prenuptial agreement can save a lot more money at a later date.

If a client comes to us with an existing agreement, we can review this and offer our advice for a minimum fixed fee of £300. If you’d like to learn more about prenuptial agreements 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. A 20 minute appraisal can be provided free of charge, and if you want to find out more we’ll provide a first appointment for a fixed fee, so you don’t have to worry about how much our advice is going to cost. If you want to learn about our wider charging system then please take a look here. 

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March 19, 2020

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