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Greene & Greene is a long established firm of solicitors based in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. Our lawyers advise individuals and businesses based all over the UK.

We regularly attract new clients who have been using firms in London, but now receive a more cost efficient and more personal service from us here in Bury St Edmunds.

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Entries in Pre-nuptial Agreements (5)


What’s Up with a “Pre Nup”?

In his role as a specialist family lawyer with Greene & Greene, Stuart Hughes is often asked by clients about pre and post nuptial agreements.

Arguably one does not enter into a marriage expecting that it might end in divorce, however the statistics show that unfortunately many marriages do break down resulting in separation and Divorce. 

The Divorce and associated financial settlement can be both unpredictable and expensive, so, whilst not the most romantic gesture, a nuptial agreement can be of considerable benefit to both parties by providing a measure of clarity and certainty.

That said, the idea of a nuptial agreement regularly provokes a range of emotive responses.

To help, Stuart starts by explaining the following:

  1. If the agreement is fair, if certain established conditions are met and if you sign a nuptial agreement, then you should expect the court to hold you to it;
  2. A fair agreement arrived at with the benefit of sound legal advice can provide peace of mind and guard against expensive and unpredictable proceedings.  However it is always the hope and intention that the agreement will not be needed and the marriage will succeed.  The agreement should be put in place in much the same way as an insurance policy is taken out to cover unforeseen circumstances;
  3. An individual with inherited wealth, pre-acquired assets or an established asset base should consider a nuptial agreement.  The cost of preparing an agreement is minimal compared to the risk of and costs of proceedings; and
  4. A nuptial agreement can be entered into before the marriage (pre nuptial) or after the marriage (post nuptial).

Deciding on whether to enter into a pre or post nuptial agreement or even whether to have a nuptial agreement at all can be the hardest choice.

Many of the agreements drafted are in place to protect assets such as a pre-owned property, a business or farming estates that are typically brought to the marriage by one party.

It is also increasingly commonplace for parents (and indeed grandparents) to provide financial assistance to the younger generation in getting a foothold on the property ladder and a properly drafted nuptial agreement can protect the family wealth against future claims.

Asset protection is a key part of the work that Greene & Greene undertake for their clients and as is often said “prevention is better than the cure”.

Nuptial agreements form a significant part of the family team’s work and Greene & Greene is a leading firm in West Suffolk in preparing both pre and post nuptial agreements for clients throughout East Anglia and London, with particular expertise in respect of farming families.

If you need a specialist family lawyer please contact Stuart Hughes in the Greene & Greene Family Law Team for an initial no-obligation discussion on 01284 717493 or stuarthughes@greene-greene.com.  For more information on the services available at Greene & Greene please visit www.greene-greene.com and follow on Twitter @greenegreenelaw.

*This article was first published in the March Edition of Bury & West Suffolk Magazine



Weddings are expensive.  The cost is on average over £18,500 so I am sure that the last thing on your mind would be seeing a lawyer about a “Pre-Nup”.  Anyway you are probably thinking they are just for the rich and famous.  Wrong!

If you have built up a modest amount of assets by your own efforts, gift or inheritance (or you are likely to receive either) I recommend that you do what you can to protect your assets in the event that things go pear-shaped and for a tiny fraction of the cost of the wedding.

Pre-Nups are common-place in America and Europe and increasingly so here.

They are especially important for those of you entering into marriage for a second time or where relatives are planning to make significant gifts, maybe by way of an advance of their inheritance.

Granted, they are not romantic.  But sadly over a third of marriages end in divorce.

As you plan your wedding day the last thing you want to think about is what if it goes wrong?  So think of it as an insurance policy – hopefully you’ll never need to refer to it, but if you do it’ll help no end.

Don’t leave it until the last minute.  It’s best to plan about 6 months in advance although any time up to 3 months before the big day is fine.

Originally Published by Velvet Magagzine in Sept 2013.

For a no obligation and cost free chat, contact Kate Chandler, the head of the Family Law team at Greene & Greene in Bury St Edmunds on 01284 717513 or k.chandler@greene-greene.com


A Dozen Red Roses…and a Pre-Nup?

St Valentine’s Day is upon us again and with every year that passes it becomes a bigger event surpassed only by Christmas in the card giving stakes. In today’s world, Valentine’s Day is a popular choice for both marriage proposals and weddings but are there practical, as well as romantic considerations to take into account at this time of year?

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Asset Protection: Money & the 21st century family

As a family lawyer, I find that listening to the solemn words of the modern marriage ceremony; “all that I have I share with you” sometimes prompts a silent retort of “yes, but up to a point”. Unromantic, certainly, but with first time buyers struggling to make their way on to the property ladder, graduates unable to find work and savings performing poorly, couples (whether married or not) are increasingly relying on parental cash injections to get started in life. If recent press reports are to be believed, some parents are even choosing to sell up and rent property so as to release capital for their children.

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Survey suggests the need to consider Pre-Nuptial Agreements

An Opinion Poll* conducted in January 2011 of over 2,000 parents have found that 35% of parents were unwilling to leave an inheritance as their child’s spouse could end up with some of the inheritance in the event of their splitting up.

One in four parents were not confident that their child’s marriage would last.  Over 72% wanted Pre-Nuptial Agreements to become legally binding, but the survey suggests that it unlikely that a parent would interfere with their children’s choice of spouse or partner, instead they may put off inheritance planning.

Kate Chandler, Head of our Family Department said of the research:

“It is natural for parents to want to benefit and protect future generations.  This can be achieved without a change in the law on Pre-Nups providing there is joined-up thinking between Will making and Pre-Nup or Co-habitation agreements”.

* Survey carried out on behalf of investment management firm Rensburg Sheppards