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Prenuptial Agreements, Glasgow

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A prenuptial agreement, more commonly known as a ‘prenup’, is a formal agreement that serves to protect important assets held by the parties prior to entering into their marriage.

Prenups are becoming increasingly common in Scotland and such agreements are generally enforceable, provided certain requirements have been satisfied.

We understand that many people feel uneasy at suggesting a prenup to their future spouse, because it may be seen as unromantic or implies the relationship will eventually break down. Our lawyers for prenuptial agreements can advise as to how to broach the subject with tact and diplomacy in the wider context of how best to protect assets.

Prenups can be an excellent and effective way of avoiding costly litigation. In the UK, prenuptial agreement cost is modest in comparison to court action.

Our experienced solicitors are well versed in prenuptial law and can assist with the negotiation and drafting of such agreements ,so that both parties enter a marriage or a civil partnership fully aware of the consequences should the relationship break down.

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It can be particularly useful for those individuals who own assets at the time of marriage or who already have children from a previous relationship, as they can ring-fence specific assets against a claim of divorce or dissolution of civil partnership.

So-called ‘silver prenups’, for those individuals who remarry later in life, not only allow parties to protect the property they bring into a marriage from divorce but also from the laws of inheritance. This way, upon death, their estate would pass to their own children and not their new spouse’s children.

A postnuptial agreement is entered into after marriage or civil partnership has taken place but is enforceable in the same manner as a prenuptial agreement.

Enforcing prenuptial agreements

There is no case law at all on the enforceability of prenuptial agreements in Scotland but the relevant legislation makes it clear that agreements seeking to regulate financial provision on divorce are binding, provided that they are “fair and reasonable.”

The courts may interpret an agreement as unfair and unreasonable when:

  • One party obtains the signature through fraud.
  • If one party gains an undue advantage over the other.
  • If the complete facts and truth were not disclosed to the other party.
  • If one party did not fully understand the agreement because there was no legal advice given to him/her at the time of the formation of the contract.

As long as the correct procedures have been followed, a challenge to a properly prepared prenup is unlikely to succeed.

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