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Prenuptial agreements

Planning a wedding is an exciting time - and also a time when you start thinking about your long-term future. You’re probably looking forward to a long and happy marriage but it’s also natural to wonder what unexpected twists and turns life might bring.

That’s why, when planning a wedding or civil partnership, it’s a good idea to prepare for every eventuality. After all, none of us can accurately predict where life may take us in 10 or 20 years’ time. With a prenuptial agreement in place, you and your partner can enter into marriage safe in the knowledge that you’ll both know where you stand if you do choose to end your marriage in the future.

Asking for a prenup certainly doesn’t mean that you expect your marriage to fail - and it doesn’t have to detract from the romance and excitement of your special day. With the help of our friendly and experienced solicitors, putting an agreement in place is a straightforward and sensible way to protect your future. And once it’s in place, you can get on with planning and enjoying your wedding day and your life together as a happily married couple.

Prenuptial agreements, sometimes called premarital agreements, set out in writing what should happen to each person’s assets and finances if the marriage breaks down. It gives you both the opportunity to agree in advance what is fair - rather than one of you losing a large chunk of your assets in the event of a divorce.

They are not legally binding in England and Wales, however pre-nup agreements are increasingly taken into account when divorce decrees are granted. In the event of separation or a divorce, the Judge will consider the agreement as a relevant circumstance of the case if the provisions are reasonable and certain conditions are met. These conditions are as follows:

  • The Agreement is more likely to be upheld if the parties obtained independent legal advice before the Agreement was entered into
  • Both parties should provide full financial disclosure detailing their respective financial position and circumstances
  • There should be no evidence that any pressure was brought on either party to enter into the Agreement
  • The Agreement was entered into voluntarily prior to the marriage

The pre-nup is a formal agreement which is made in writing. You both need to have made full and frank disclosure of the final advance decisions, and you both must have separate legal advice.

Can I only set up a pre-nup agreement before I get married?

It is possible to enter into an agreement during the marriage such as a post-nuptial agreement.


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