A Brief Guide to Prenuptial Agreements

    In previous years, public opinion as softened slightly towards prenuptial agreements, or ‘prenups’. Once misconceived as reserved for the rich and their gold-digging partners, prenuptial agreements have become more commonplace.

    In the following blog post, we will give you the facts about prenuptial agreements and answer some of the most common questions people tend to have.

    What is a prenuptial agreement?
    A prenuptial agreement is a contract that is entered into prior to marriage or a civil partnership. The agreement makes provisions for how a couple’s assets will be split in the event of a divorce.

    Currently, prenups are not legally binding in the UK. However, they are afforded heavy evidential weight in Family Law Courts and generally, if a prenuptial agreement has been entered into feely, with an understanding of the implications, they are upheld.

    Why do people get prenups?
    Whilst it might seem unromantic initially, there are a number of reasons why people in loving relationships choose to get prenups.

    Between a couple that is realistic and fair, prenuptial agreements can help to ensure a predictable financial resolution during a divorce.

    Below, are a few common reasons why people choose to enter prenuptial agreements:

    In certain situations, assents cannot be split 50/50
    If one partner wishes to reserve particular assets or property for children from a previous marriage
    To protect inheritance
    If one of the partners owns a business
    If one partner does not wish to share responsibility for the other’s outstanding debts
    How does a prenuptial agreement work?
    For a prenup to be effective, it must be tailored to the specific needs of the couple involved. For this reason, a one-size-fits-all agreement, or an online template, is not advisable.

    When arranging the drafting of an accurate and fair prenuptial agreement, you should consider the following:

    Ensure the prenup is drawn up by a qualified family solicitor. This way you can be certain the agreement is compliant with UK law
    Seek separate independent legal advice
    Make sure both parties enter into the agreement freely and agree with the terms fully
    Ensure the agreement is signed at least 21 days before the marriage
    Make a full disclosure of all property and assets
    Have the agreement confirmed as fair by a qualified family solicitor
    Much like critical illness insurance, prenuptial agreements are unpleasant and hopefully unnecessary. However, having one in place can give you peace of mind in the unfortunate event that the worst-case scenario occurs.

    To find out more information about prenuptial agreements, head to our Family Solicitors page and connect with a specialist.

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