A pre-nuptial agreement is a written contract entered into by two parties who are about to marry with the intention of setting out their respective financial intentions and obligations in the event of a subsequent divorce. Such an agreement is not legally binding, but would be taken into consideration by a court when assessing financial provision in the event of a divorce. The agreement takes the form of a written document which is signed and dated by both parties in the presence of independent witnesses.
A Pre Nuptial Agreement will usually include:
(a) A full and frank disclosure of financial assets, income and any future expectations of such must be given to ensure each party can make an informed decision based on the facts.
(b) Each party must receive independent legal advice about the contents to ensure fairness.
(c) It must be entered into freely and without pressure and preferably at least 21 days before the wedding is to take place.
(d) There may need to be provision for a review on the occurrence of certain events eg on the birth of a child or in the event of one party contracting a chronic illness.