England and Wales is well known for being one of the most generous divorce jurisdictions in the world. The law at present provides such a wide discretion to the Courts that unless active steps are taken by entering into a pre/post nuptial agreement then all assets acquired by either party, before marriage, during marriage or even post separation are potentially subject to the jurisdiction of the Court.

A post-nup (if already married) or pre-nup agreement providing that it is entered into subject to proper safeguards is the effective way of putting you in control as to division of assets upon any subsequent marital breakdown.

It is not just the actual division of assets – there is also the issue of whether on-going financial support i.e spousal maintenance is likely to be paid by one party and, if so, then for how long. The Courts have the power and frequently do order maintenance to be paid for joint lives particularly after a long marriage. Post and pre-nup agreements can be used to regulate the term of any maintenance to be paid and also how the amount is to be calculated. There are many factors to consider in making a pre or post nuptial agreement.

Such agreements are like an insurance policy – you hope that you never need to rely upon them however they are there just in case.

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