Pre-nuptial agreements are a sensible and cost effective means of protecting wealth which has been accrued prior to marriage by only one of the parties to the marriage.
The law applicable to separating spouses on divorce, namely the Family Law (Scotland) Act 1985, aims to achieve fairness and a reasonable and justified outcome but due to the wide discretion afforded to the court in any divorce action, such an outcome is not guaranteed.
As a result, it can be advisable to enter into a pre-nuptial agreement.
A pre-nuptial agreement can make provision for many issues which may arise on separation or divorce, including 'ring-fencing' assets and liabilities from a claim on separation or divorce, making provision for payment of spousal aliment and periodical allowance, prescribing a pre-agreed division of jointly-owned property and regulating occupancy rights and succession rights.
Such agreements are especially useful where parties to the marriage wish to protect their wealth for children from previous relationships. Each agreement will be unique and it should be drafted to reflect the wishes and the circumstances of the couple.
Pre-nuptial agreements can be beneficial but they do require careful drafting to ensure that they are likely to be enforceable. It is suggested that legal advice should be obtained as early as possible in advance of the marriage / civil partnership if a couple wish to enter into a pre-nuptial agreement.
Entering into such agreements may not be romantic but they can dispel fears for some, resulting in a firm foundation for an enduring relationship.
In the event that the relationship breaks down, having such an agreement in place can save unnecessary acrimony and expense for both parties.
Our family law team are experienced in drafting comprehensive agreements and in handling the preparation and negotiation of such agreements in a sensitive and discreet manner.
Our family law team would be happy to assist with the preparation of a cohabitation agreement. To speak to one of our solicitors, please contact us.
Thank you to Samantha Gilbert for all her efforts. We were very happy with the professionalism she treated our case with, and the level of detailed checks carried out helped make us feel assured throughout.
S. Cunningham, private client
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