Pre-Nuptial & Post-Nuptial Agreements
There are two types of agreements
- A Pre-nuptial agreement (‘pre-nup’) is an agreement which is entered into before marriage, which details how assets will be divided if the marriage breaks down.
- A Post-nuptial agreement (‘post-nup’) is entered into after marriage, while a couple are still living together and allows a couple to plan financially should their marriage breakdown. Civil partners can have a post-partnership agreement.
Up to recently Pre-nuptial Agreements have had little but persuasive value. Although the courts would take them into account they were not legally binding. However following the recent land mark decision by the Supreme Court of Radmacher v Granatino in Oct 2010 things are set to change. By ruling that such contracts are legally binding, the Supreme Court has altered the landscape of divorce settlements. In this case Katrin Radmacher, a German national and her French ex-husband, Nicolas Granatino, 38, had signed a prenuptial agreement before their wedding in London in 1998. The agreement stipulated that neither party would benefit financially if the marriage ended. When the parties separated in October 2006 Mr Granatino applied to the court to look at all financial matters, asking that the Agreement be disregarded. On Appeal, the Supreme Court found in favour of the wife Ms Radmacher. Lord Justice Thorpe stating “The Court should give effect to a nuptial agreement that is freely entered into by each party with a full appreciation of its implications unless in the circumstances prevailing it would not be fair to hold the parties to their agreement”.
In terms of defining ‘fairness’, the Supreme Court has suggested that if the parties’ needs are met and financial sacrifices have been compensated for in the agreement (for example by homemakers who have given up careers to look after the children of the family), then there should be no requirement to depart from the agreement.
So when would a Pre-nuptial Agreement be beneficial?
Consider the following:
- Are you getting married or entering into a Civil Partnership?
- Have you and/or your partner a number of assets/properties that would be difficult to divide on separation?
- Do you want to safeguard inherited family money or assets?
- Do you expect future inheritance?
- Do you want to safeguard a business?
- Do you want to safeguard children within the relationship or children from a previous relationship?
The law relating to Pre-Nuptial Agreements also applies to Post-Nuptial Agreements, the only difference is that a Post-Nuptial Agreement is entered into after marriage whereas a Pre-Nuptial Agreement is arranged before marriage.
Naturally people getting married believe that they will be married for life, however today this is often not the case. Marriage breakdown has increased significantly over the last few years due to changes in society and our work-life patterns. By signing a pre-nuptial agreement before marriage, both parties know exactly where they stand in relation to asset division, should the marriage dissolve in the future.
Personal Injury is used to describe any type of injury you suffer due to someone else’s lack of care and attention or negligent behaviour.
Personal Injury claims usually arise from someone else’s negligence and can involve many different situations such as an accident at work, a slip, trip or fall, or being involved in a car accident. The resulting injury can be serious and life-changing, with long term health and financial implications.
Our personal injury solicitors have secured compensation in many different types of personal injury actions.
Road Traffic Accidents
You can claim compensation for road traffic accident injuries if the accident was caused by the fault of another motorist, person or party. You can claim compensation if you were injured as a driver, a passenger, and a pedestrian or if you were riding a motorbike a bicycle or a horse at the time of the accident. You can also claim if you are partly to blame for the accident.
Accident & Injury at Work
When at work you expect to be in an environment where the proper measures have been taken by your employer to adhere to Statutory Duties to protect you in the workplace, whether it be an office, factory or your place of trade. If you have sustained an injury as a result of an accident at work it can be daunting to know where to begin in making a claim for compensation against your employer.
Injuries in Public Places
All companies have a duty of care to visitors to their premises, including members of the public or employees from other companies, to ensure that they are not at risk of injury while visiting them. If it can be proved that insufficient Health & Safety provisions were made; then you may well be entitled to get compensation.
Councils also have a responsibility to ensure that all pavements, roads and bridle paths are clear of defects and well-maintained to avoid accidents.
Unfortunately a large number of people fall victim to an accident abroad, contracting an illness or suffering from an unforeseen injury. Any accident, illness or injury suffered of holiday can of course cause pain and upset, and in addition, often results in disruption to the remaining time spent abroad. However in circumstances such as these there are laws in place to protect those who are the victim of an incident abroad which occurred as the result of circumstances outside of their control.
Asbestos Related Illnesses
Asbestos can be very dangerous. It does not present a health risk if it is undisturbed, but if material containing asbestos is chipped, drilled, broken or allowed to deteriorate, it can release a fine dust that contains asbestos fibres.
Sexual & Physical Abuse
We do understand how extremely difficult it is to come forward and talk about any sexual or physical abuse that you or a close family member has suffered. We know how traumatic the recollection of events can be, and our solicitors will do all they can to ensure that you feel safe and secure throughout the claims process.
In any abuse claim, the abuse of trust can be the most difficult aspect to come to terms with. If you have been subjected to abuse from someone who was in a position of trust, such as a carer, parent or professional, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation.
Hearing Loss Claims
Noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) also known as Industrial Hearing Loss, is a work related condition that results in the loss of hearing (often over a prolonged period of time) as a consequence of a person’s working environment. Hearing loss often appears years, if not decades later from the original exposure meaning many people do not identify their work as the cause.
Motoring & Criminal
Stewarts Solicitors has a long tradition of skilled representation in criminal proceedings. We provide essential advice and representation in all local criminal Courts and at Police Stations.
In this area of law, it is essential that clients are able to rely upon the skill and experience of their Solicitor to protect their legal rights and personal freedom at all times. Our motoring & driving law department has a highly qualified team with many years of experience.
We cover the whole of Northern Ireland an appear at criminal courts in Antrim Court Solicitors; Armagh Court Solicitors; Ballymena Court Solicitors; Banbridge Court Solicitors; Coleraine Court Solicitors; Craigavon Court Solicitors; Downpatrick Court Solicitors; Dungannon Court Solicitors; Enniskillen Court Solicitors; Laganside Court Solicitors; Magistrates Court Solicitors; Limavady Court Solicitors; Lisburn Court Solicitors; Londonderry Court Solicitors; Derry Court Solicitors; Magherafelt Court Solicitors; Newry Court Solicitors; Newtownards Court Solicitor; Omagh Court Solicitors and Strabane Court Solicitors.
Our experienced family law department offers a full range of services to assist those going through a breakdown in their family relationship.
Many of our divorce solicitors and separation solicitors are also certified Collaborative lawyers, an organisation committed to the constructive resolution of family disputes through non-confrontational communication.
Our Family Solicitors encourage solutions that consider the needs of the whole family, in particular the best interests of any children or dependants.
Our domestic violence and protection from harassment solicitors offer a free initial consultation about domestic violence or abuse in a relationship. The law seeks to protect those people who find themselves in situations where they are subjected to such abuse. The family courts have the ability to make non-molestation and occupation orders and we can help you apply for an ‘injunction’ if you’ve been the victim of domestic violence.
Many of our children law solicitors are accredited members of the Children Order Panel. Our children lawyers are experienced in assisting parents and guardians of children by providing sound, clear advice on the legal requirements and the legal remedies available in relation to parental responsibility, contact and residence of children, together with Prohibited Steps Orders and Specific Issue Orders. We can also assist in Private Law proceedings, if you are applying to adopt a child, or if you are objecting to someone trying to adopt your child.
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