Although prenuptial agreements may sound like an unromantic topic to talk about, they are arguably the best way to ensure there is as little conflict as possible over property and financial assets should your marriage come to an end.
What is a prenuptial agreement?
Prenuptial agreements are contracts made between two people before they marry. They specify agreed settlements regarding property, money and other assets in the event that your marriage breaks down, leading to divorce.
Although often thought only as a way for the rich and wealthy to protect their money, prenuptial agreements are a good way to start your marriage with a sense of honesty and openness in your relationship.
A prenuptial agreement can ensure that you and your spouse would be able to get on with your lives with financial security and protection of other assets in the event of divorce.
Should I get a prenuptial agreement?
Prenuptial agreements can provide certainty for a couple and protection to their pre-marriage assets, inheritance and commitments such as any children from a previous marriage.
The agreements are particularly useful and recommended for people in a variety of circumstances, such as:
- You have children from a previous relationship and want to make sure there are assets secured for them in the future.
- You have a large amount of wealth and/or other assets you wish to protect.
- You run a business and want to make sure it is protected in the future.
- You’re marrying someone from another country and want to be protected from any awards or payments that need to be made in another legal jurisdiction.
There are of course a near-infinite number of other reasons why one or both of you may wish for a prenuptial agreement. If you are unsure about prenuptial agreements or sitting on the fence about getting one, feel free to talk to one of our expert family lawyers who can help guide you.
Are prenuptial agreements legally binding?
Prenuptial agreements aren’t legally binding in the UK. However, the Court won’t dismiss them either.
In the event that there is a disagreement over money or property and you seek a financial settlement from the divorce in Court, the judge will consider any prenuptial agreement you are both party to. The judge will consider factors such as:
- Did you both understand the implications of the agreement?
- Did you both enter the agreement voluntarily?
- Was there full disclosure of assets and/or other liabilities from both parties?
- Are the terms of the agreement fair?
If you answer yes to all of these questions, there is a good chance that the Court will uphold your prenuptial agreement.
As well as the above, the correct process must be followed and both parties must have obtained independent legal advice from a family law solicitor.
Carrying out all of the following steps will help your prenuptial to be upheld in Court:
- Your prenuptial agreement is drafted by a qualified solicitor.
- Both parties seek independent advice from separate solicitors.
- Both solicitors confirm the agreement was entered into freely and that all parties understand its contents.
- All assets are fully disclosed by both parties.
- The prenuptial agreement is signed at least 28 days before the date of your wedding.*
*Your agreement must be signed at least 28 days before the date of your wedding, ideally as far in advance as possible. This not only allows for a ‘cooling-off period’, but makes it clear to the Court that no last-minute pressure was applied to either party.
At Birchall Blackburn Law our expert team of family law solicitors have the experience and technical knowledge that places us at the forefront of the area of family law. We use our expertise in negotiation, Court applications and hearings to get the best possible result for you.
Birchall Blackburn Law offers a free 20-minute initial consultation, as well as a fixed-fee initial appointment during which we will address your individual circumstances. To make an enquiry, call us on 0800 614 722 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More Family Law News and Information
Our Family Law services
Alternatives to Court
Blog: What are the grounds for divorce?
Blog: What happens during a divorce?
Blog: Do I need a divorce lawyer if we agree on everything?