Your Guide to Pre-Nups & Post-Nups

Marsden Rawsthorn solicitors have decades of experience and historic roots within the local community. We have a well-established team of highly qualified and skilled solicitors with a first-class reputation. Photography: Roger Moore

The Family Team at Marsden Rawsthorn in particular are sensitive to the difficult situations you may face. We recognise your needs and circumstances are unique and our aim is to achieve the very best outcome for you.

Our focus is on finding the best solution to help you move forward.

The Family Law team at Marsden Rawsthorn solicitors takes us through the implications of pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements

A pre-nuptial agreement, also known as a pre-nup, is a formal, written agreement between two partners prior to their marriage. It sets out ownership of their belongings including money, assets and property and explains how it will be divided in the event of the breakdown of their marriage. Prenuptial agreements are perceived by some to be unromantic, however, a pre-nup can save time, expense and acrimony should the marriage subsequently break down.

Post-nuptial agreements, or post-nups, are essentially the same as prenuptial agreements but they are formed after the marriage or civil partnership has taken place. Both pre-nups and post-nups consist of a contract, entered into by a couple, setting out their wishes on how the assets of each party, including property, savings and pensions, should be distributed in the event of a divorce, dissolution of civil partnership or death of either party.

The aim is to try and keep assets separate rather than allowing them to become mixed together in the ‘matrimonial pot’ – and consequently to minimise the possibility of divorce-related financial disputes ending up in court. Currently post-nuptial agreements are not legally binding in the UK. Courts are not forced to follow the instructions contained in post-nups or pre-nups and will take factors into account at the time of separation and the needs of any children of the marriage. The court will determine how assets should be divided notwithstanding the terms of any post-nuptial agreement.

However, it is likely that the court will generally take pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreements into account, so they can still be very useful. The Supreme Court case of Radmacher v Granatino provided guidance for family courts to follow when deciding whether to enforce these agreements: “The court should give effect to a nuptial agreement that is freely entered into by each party with a full appreciation of its implications unless in the circumstances prevailing it would not be fair to hold the parties to their agreement.”

This means it is important that you have both taken independent legal advice before entering into such an agreement. Both parties should understand the full extent of any financial claims they might be giving up by signing an agreement and the extent of the financial position of the other. The needs of both parties and the children will need to be considered. Ultimately, this approach aims to achieve fairness and certainty to couples, to alleviate any potential disputes that may arise.

The experienced team at Marsden Rawsthorn offer guidance on preparing pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements for those planning to marry or who are already married, as well as cohabitation agreements for couples who elect to live together. Properly written, legal agreements help to protect property and assets in the unfortunate event of the death of a partner or the breakdown of the relationship and separation.

Pictured: The Family Team – Amanda Long, Lauren Townson and Lyndsey Kiley (from L-R in the top image)

If you would like to arrange an appointment, call 0800 294 4410 or alternatively email:

Marsden Rawsthorn Solicitors Ltd
Faraday Court, Faraday Drive
Fulwood, Preston PR2 9NB

Westmarch House
42 Eaton Avenue, Buckshaw Village
Chorley PR7 7NA
0800 294 4410



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