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Qualifying nuptial agreements - a family law guide

View profile for Charlotte Coyle
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This note sets out the key legal terms and definitions for qualifying nuptual agreements.

The family law team at Goodman Derrick have years of experience advising divorce and helping you understand and navigate the process. Please contact any one of the team for an initial conversation.

The Law Comission's recommendations

On 27 February 2014, the Law Commission published a report which recommended legislative reform to make nuptial agreements legally binding.

Legislative reform has not taken place but it is worth bearing in mind and applying the criteria below in order to ensure that your nuptial agreement ticks all the right boxes as and when reform takes place. The criteria are:


The agreement needs to be validly executed (as a deed). As part of the execution requirements your signature will need to be witnessed. The agreement should contain a statement in which you confirm that you understand that the agreement is a qualifying agreement that will remove the court's discretion to make financial orders on divorce except to meet financial needs.


You should agree and execute the agreement at least 28 days before the wedding.


You will both need to provide details of your financial circumstances. This is known as disclosure. Normally you provide detail of property, bank accounts, investments, business valuations, pensions, income and any other material information.


You will both need to obtain independent legal advice.


The agreement must not prejudice the rights of any children.


The agreement should meet the needs of both parties. Depending on the circumstances this may include provision for both income and capital needs. Needs are fact specific. Not only will they be dependant on the specific circumstances of each couple but they are also likely to change in time.

Goodman Derrick – Family

Our London based Family law team guide our clients through the legal process so as to minimise the financial costs and to achieve the best possible outcome, the group:

  • provides legal advice and support for divorce and separation
  • specialises in the resolution of financial issues arising through a relationship breakdown
  • drafts and negotiates cohabitation agreements and pre and post-nuptial agreements
  • focuses on child arrangements and UK and international surrogacy and parental order applications

Goodman Derrick LLP - A London law firm focused on delivering an exceptional service to ambitious businesses and entrepreneurs.

More information

This guide is for general information and interest only and should not be relied upon as providing specific legal advice. If you require any further information about the issues raised in this article please contact the author or call 0207 404 0606 and ask to speak to your usual Goodman Derrick contact.