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Prenuptial agreements

In today's changing landscape of relationships, Prenuptial Agreements have gained popularity as couples seek to safeguard their assets and interests. Our pre-nuptial agreement solicitor explains the concept of Prenuptial Agreements, their legal implications, and why they are beneficial for couples entering into marriage or civil partnership.

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A Prenuptial Agreement, also known as a prenup, is a legal agreement entered into by two individuals before they get married or enter into a Civil Partnership. It outlines the rights and responsibilities of each party in the event of a divorce or separation, and can set out how the couple want their finances arranged during the marriage or partnership as well. Typically, Prenuptial Agreements address property division, financial support, and other related matters.

One of the main purposes of a prenup is to protect each party's individual assets and interests, ensuring that they are not at risk of being divided or taken by their spouse in the event of a separation. While some may view prenups as unromantic or pessimistic, they can play a crucial role in providing clarity, certainty, and protection for both parties.

Is a Prenuptial Agreement right for you?

No two relationships are the same and that is why Prenuptial Agreements can vary between marriages and partnerships and aren’t suitable for everyone.  They are often used when one half of a couple has or is likely to have significantly more assets that the other. Prenuptial Agreements are commonly used to protect particular assets so that they can be protected on divorce/separation.

This is often seen with people who have a large inheritance, are landowners, business owners or those who are marrying later in life or after a previous marriage.  Our prenup lawyers ensure that your Prenuptial Agreement is bespoke and tailored to your assets and situation.

Reasons why couples consider entering into a Prenuptial Agreement include:

  • Eliminating uncertainty and disagreements over finances, property and assets if your relationship ends
  • Protecting any inheritance nowor in the future
  • Preserving assets for children from previous relationships
  • Ensuring you retain control of a business
  • Protecting yourself from being liable for debts your partner has

A Prenuptial Agreement has to be signed at least 28 days before marriage.  For a married couple who want some protection, it is possible to create a Postnuptial Agreement.  The agreements are treated the same, the only difference is the timing of signing them.

Is a Prenuptial agreement legally binding in the UK?

A Prenuptial Agreement in UK law is not legally binding but they have been regarded as persuasive and even decisive by Courts in some cases. The Court trend is to take a more European approach when considering prenups, and more often than not (unless grossly unfair) they are upheld.  The Court will consider all of the circumstances surrounding the prenup including the following:

  • The agreement must be freely entered into.
  • Both parties must understand the implications of the agreement.
  • The agreement must be fair.
  • The agreement must be contractually valid.
  • The agreement must have been made at least 28 days before the wedding
  • There should be disclosure about the wider financial circumstances.
  • Both parties must have received legal advice.
  • It should not prejudice any children
  • Both parties' needs must be met

Once you have a prenup, it should be kept under review and checked regularly to make sure it is still appropriate to your circumstances.  This ensures that the agreement remains fair and relevant throughout the marriage.

If you have any queries regarding Prenuptial Agreements, please contact Carline or Antonia on 01926 354704.


Team members

Antonia Kirby
Senior Solicitor
Carline Gayle-Buckle
Senior Solicitor | Head of Family team

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