Pre-nuptial Agreements in England are often regarded as binding though the court retains discretion as to whether an agreement should be enforced.

The chances of a prenup being upheld by the courts are increased greatly if the agreement has been entered into freely by both sides, each side understands the financial implications of the agreement and overall, the prenup is fair in the way it provides for the economically weaker spouse. Financial provision for dependent children must also be factored into the agreement.

A prenup can set out how you and your spouse will manage your finances during the marriage. It can also specify what you expect to happen should either of you die – although you must make a will to give effect to your wishes for distribution of your property when you die. If there is marital property that’s located abroad you may also need to make a foreign will to deal with those assets.

There is not a “standard” form of prenuptial agreement in England, because in English law marriage does not alter the ownership of property. This is unlike some countries, including many European countries where marriage will create a “community of property” unless there is a pre-nuptial agreement.

Because the question of what is fair varies so much from couple to couple, pre-nuptial agreements have to be carefully drafted to fit individual circumstances.

Example situations where an agreement may be required

  • Couples pooling their earnings to purchase a property.
  • Couples intending to have a first child, and planning their future finances.
  • Where there are children from a previous relationship.
  • Where one party is wealthier than the other or has been married previously.
  • Where one party is at risk of insolvency due to business downturns or other issues.
  • Couples getting married after having already cohabited and considering combining finances.
  • Where parents or relatives are contributing to a house or savings fund

Pre-Nuptial Agreements: Frequently Asked Questions

What does Brookman offer?
Everyone’s situation is unique, but we do offer some “standard” types of agreement should your situation come within their scope. If you contact us we will send you our Basic Information Form, and when you return that to us we can do an initial estimate as to the probable cost of preparing a pre-nuptial agreement for you.

We also ask that clients who require a pre-nuptial agreement contact us at least 8 weeks prior to the wedding day so the necessary work can be completed in time. Usually prenups should be signed well in advance of marriage so that there can be no suggestion that one party entered the agreement under duress. Most couples are busy enough anyway in the weeks immediately prior to the big day. However, if you are due to marry in less than 8 weeks’ time you still have the option for us to draft your post-nuptial agreement if required.

Do you offer wills as well?
Yes, we recommend making wills to dovetail with the agreement. As with proposed agreements, we can assess if we can offer a fixed fee for one of our standard wills, or whether more complicated drafting is needed.

Do you arrange insurance and financial advice?
We liaise with independent financial advisors where appropriate, because they are accredited with the Financial Services Authority.

Aren’t prenups unromantic?
You are getting married to signal a long-term commitment and as you might expect, there will be plenty of unromantic decisions to make in the course of your marriage. For some couples without pre-nuptial agreements, the uncertainly of their financial set-up can cause underlying and long-term issues. Isn’t it better to start with a concrete financial plan so both of you know where you stand?

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Pre-nuptual Contract Scenario

The scenario below does not relate to any individual clients of ours but the facts and the outcomes relate to some similar experiences in our practice.

The Scenario

Mr P saw us about whether a pre-nuptial would be appropriate. He was a business man with substantial assets in England. He was entering into an arranged marriage with a distant relative who was a company executive.

Whilst they naturally hoped it would work they both wanted to realistically consider what would happen if it did not.

Our Solution

We advised on an agreement which preserved their individual property except for the property which was to be their home. We then built in a formula that if they had children it would provide more generously for the future Mrs P. Finally, if the marriage lasted more than 7 years the agreement was to end and the ordinary law would apply. His fiance was independently advised and agreed to the deal. We are pleased to confirm that Mr and Mrs P have had a happy marriage.

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From my first contact with the firm I was treated courteously and promptly. I was offered a pro bono meeting shortly after making contact. Mr Brookman is clearly a very experienced professional and in our meeting he gave me some well considered and objective advice about my rather complicated situation which spans more than one jurisdiction.

May 2022   Julian Peachey

I had an initial consultation with Henry Brookman regarding prenuptial agreements and found him to be very helpful and knowledgeable.

Mar 2022   Simon Brooks

I had a free telephone consultation yesterday with Gavin Yeung. He could not have been more helpful and reassuring as he calmly and patiently worked through my situation to provide me with clarity and piece of mind at a time it was really needed and emotions are running high.

Mar 2022   'K M'

I spoke with Aziz at Brookman Solicitors on the phone for an initial consultation and he is one of the friendliest lawyers I have met. He is clearly very experienced as he patiently explained me all the concepts and processes which are quite daunting for someone in my situation, and then focused on the actual questions I wanted to ask... I would highly recommend Aziz and Brookman Solicitors.

Feb 2022   'R'

I am grateful for Henry Brookman and his team for support they provided to me during very frustrating time of divorce. They respond promptly to any request. I felt more confident after I started the process with them. Henry listened carefully to me and took quick actions on my case. I highly recommend this team of real professionals even for non-UK citizens.

Feb 2022   Sezim Beksultanova

I had online consultation with the partner Henry Brookman today. I was very happy with the service. I found him to be very insightful, knowledgeable and provided sound advice, as well as being kind and patient. It was a very comfortable discussion and he sent an email detailing our discussion very quickly discussing in our meeting in depth. I am amazed by the service we got just from a free consultation. I would highly recommend these solicitors!

Jan 2022   Shirley Christopher

We spoke at length and at no point felt like he was rushing us and we felt very comfortable. After our discussion we were also quickly sent an email detailing everything we were discussing in our meeting in depth. I am amazed by the service we got just from a free consultation. I would highly recommend these solicitors!

Dec 2021   Tina

I was fortunate to spend an hour running through a few questions with Natasha Slabas. She was quick to grasp the points raised and proposed a sensible way forward. Would recommend

Dec 2021   Nick Powell

I cannot praise the professionalism and courtesy too highly. The advice given in a very complex divorce matter, was clear, concise, enlightening and inspiring.

Nov 2021   Mary Barn

I contacted Henry Brookman because of the complex international aspect of my divorce and I’m very glad I did... Henry took his time explaining all the pro’s and contra’s... I now have a much clearer view over the situation and feel more confident going forward. I’m very grateful for the excellent advice I’ve received and not feeling rushed during the meeting.

Nov 2021   'A B'

Talitha offers sound advice, asks the right questions and advises you with what you need to know not just what you want to hear. I have no hesitation in recommending her services.

Sep 2021   Anu Vidyarthi

Henry took the time to go through all the details of my separation thoroughly. He was very clear on what my options were and what I needed to do to have a seamless agreement with my ex. Thank you for all your help!

Aug 2021   Sandeep Cina

Talitha provided a free consultation and could not have been more helpful. Her guidance was pragmatic and she managed my expectations both on costs and the process. Talitha offered practical advice to find a solution that could avoid going to court.

Aug 2021   Richard Doyle

About The Team

We are a specialist divorce and international divorce family law team, advising clients in the United Kingdom (specifically England and Wales) and throughout the world. We have a very people–orientated approach to working with clients. Henry Brookman has practised law for over 45 years, and our team has a wide range of skills and expertise. We are recommended by the Legal 500 and have been awarded the Law Society’s quality mark, Lexcel.

Partner

Henry Brookman

With over 45 years' experience, Henry Brookman is the senior member of the team. He is described by The Legal 500 as ‘shrewd, savvy, sagacious and highly experienced’.

Partner

Talitha Brookman

Talitha is a Partner in the firm and a very experienced practitioner who has specialised exclusively in family law for over 15 years. Talitha is recommended by The Legal 500.

Partner

Philip Morton

Recommended by The Legal 500, Philip is an expert in all areas of family law, including domestic and international financial disputes, fraud and commercial dispute resolution.

Partner

Natasha Slabas

Expert in all areas of family law, often involving cases that have an international element, including work in relation to financial settlements following divorce.

Partner

Aziz Malik

Aziz is a Partner at the firm and is highly regarded for his expertise on financial matters in divorce and is recommended by the Legal 500.

Senior Associate

Joanna Potbury

Family law specialist based in Brighton advising on divorce, cohabitation agreements, children, post-nuptial agreements, and domestic violence. Joanna is recommended by The Legal 500.

Senior Associate

Kirsty Kelleher

Kirsty is a specialist family law solicitor recommended by The Legal 500. An expert in divorce, financial matters, child-related disputes and contentious probate cases.

Senior Associate

Kevin Danagher

Kevin specialises exclusively in family law, advising on all aspects of relationship breakdown, divorce, same sex marriage, marital agreements, and international family cases.

Associate Solicitor

Jennifer Douglas

Jennifer is a talented solicitor, recommended by The Legal 500 and experienced in all elements of family law, including high net worth financial proceedings, Children Act proceedings.

Associate Solicitor

Gavin Yeung

Recommended by The Legal 500, Gavin has excellent experience in family law including divorce and financial proceedings and international child abduction proceedings.

Senior Associate

Pippa Marshall

Pippa’s experience covers all areas of family law including divorce, financial remedies, same sex relationships, and pre- and post-nuptial agreements and is recommended by The Legal 500.

Chartered Legal Executive

Lorraine Imms

With over 20 years' family law experience, Lorraine can advise on divorce, matrimonial finances, cohabitee disputes, nuptial agreements and private children matters.

Trainee Solicitor

Rachael Au

Rachael is a highly capable member of the family team in Brighton. She started her training contract in September 2019, her first seat being in Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence.

Paralegal

Katie Main Wilson

From the Brighton office, Katie assists the team with matters relating to pre-nuptial agreements, divorce, financial disputes, child access agreements and harassment protection.

Office Manager

Lorna Martin

Lorna is our Office Manager who oversees the operations of the firm including providing accounts support as well as secretarial support to the team.

Accounts Manager

Evdokia Dikova

Eva is an AAT qualified accounts manager and holds full AAT membership (MAAT). She gained her degree in financial accounting from the University of Economics in Bulgaria.

Secretary

Victoria Delatouche

Victoria is a highly experienced Legal Secretary and a long-standing member of the team. She provides secretarial support for the office.

Secretary

Michelle Louison

Michelle provides secretarial support to Henry Brookman. A very experienced family law secretary, Michelle has worked in law for over 12 years.

Front of House Manager

Patricia Antonio

Patricia is an experienced secretary and office administrator, handling the calls that come into the office, greeting clients, and managing office presentation.

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