Pre-Nuptial Agreements

Pre-Nuptial Agreements

What is a pre-nuptial agreement?

A pre-nuptial agreement is an agreement about what the parties expect to happen to their money in the event their marriage or civil-partnership comes to an end.

Why enter into a pre-nuptial agreement?

Often parties choose to enter into a pre-nuptial agreement where:

  • one party has significantly greater capital or income than the other
  • Where you wish to protect assets you owned before marriage, is property or inheritance
  • One or both of you have children from a previous marriage or relationship and want to protect those assets

Are pre-nuptial agreements binding?

In England and Wales pre-nuptial agreements are not strictly binding in the event of a later divorce, but the terms may be decisive in the event of a dispute unless the terms would be unfair.

What will make a pre-nuptial agreement more likely to be binding?

You need to consider the following:

  • You should both take independent legal advice before entering into the agreement
  • There should be full financial disclosure, both parties should have sufficient information to make an informed decision
  • Neither party should feel pressured to enter into the agreement
  • Make sure there is no fraud or misrepresentation
  • The agreement should state that you and your spouse intend to “create legal relations”
  • The agreement should be finalised 21 days before the ceremony

What can a pre-nuptial agreement include?

  • What would happen to the family home
  • What would happen to property or assets that either of you brought into the marriage
  • What would happen to your pensions
  • How would you deal with any debts
  • Would either of you receive maintenance and, if so, for how long
  • Whether you require the agreement to be confidential
  • What kind of events would require the agreement to be reviewed
  • Who will pay the costs regarding the preparation of the agreement

 

We have seen a rise in the popularity of pre-nuptial agreements, especially where parties are marrying for the second time. If this is something you are interested in please get in touch with Rachel.