Pre-nuptial agreements – should you have one?

A “prenuptial agreement” is an agreement made by a couple before they get married, although it is also possible to enter into a “post-nuptial” agreement. A pre-nuptial agreement is designed to set out what would happen to the assets and income of the two parties in the event they separate or divorce in the future. A common scenario would be where one or both party entering into the marriage have pre-acquired wealth and they seek to ring-fence this for the benefit of any existing children or for themselves in the event the marriage broke down.

The current law in England & Wales is that pre-nuptial agreements are not legally binding. However, Family Courts will take the existence of a pre-nuptial agreement into consideration within divorce and financial proceedings, particularly if the agreement was properly entered into; the agreement is fair; and both parties have received their own independent legal advice on the agreement.

It is also important to bear in mind that pre-nuptial agreement may become legally binding in the future, if there is a change in law. Parties entering into a pre-nuptial agreement should therefore expect the agreement to be upheld, and should not enter into any agreement they are not comfortable with.

It is best practice for pre-nuptial agreements to be signed at least 28 days prior to the marriage, and therefore it is important that you take legal advice sooner rather than later if you believe a pre-nuptial agreement may be appropriate in your circumstances.

To find out how a pre-nuptial agreement can work for you, please do contact our experienced solicitors on 03331 212345 or info@betteridges.com

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