What is a pre-nuptial agreement?
Sometimes called a 'pre-marital agreement' or 'pre-nup', a pre-nuptial agreement
is a contract entered into before, or sometimes during, a marriage.
It sets out the conditions relating to your respective assets, and their division,
that would apply if you were divorced and your marriage was dissolved.
We can help you with your Pre-nup
Our pre-nuptial agreement solicitors can help you. If you would
like a pre-nuptial agreement drawn up or have an existing pre-nup amended – or you'd
simply like to talk through pre-nups with a friendly, expert family solicitor:
Is a pre-nup legally binding?
Many countries throughout the world legally recognise the validity of pre-nups but
they are not legally binding in England and Wales at the current time.
However, Pre-nuptial 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 obtain independent legal
advice before the Agreement is 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 to bear on either party to enter into the Agreement, and that the Agreement
was entered into voluntarily prior to the marriage.
There's a legal precedent for pre-nup’s: in 1 case in 2003, a divorce court enforced
the provisions of a pre-nup agreement, allowing the wealthier partner to keep a
greater percentage of the marital assets.
Since then, there have been many cases following this principle, so expect pre-nups
to become legally-binding in England and Wales soon.
Do pre-nups favour the wealthier partner?
Sometimes a pre-nup can allow a wealthier partner to ring fence and keep certain
assets from being considered as marital; ie; subject to being divided between the
two of you.
This is particularly important when one party wants to secure inherited family assets.
One party might also have married later in life, perhaps for a second time; it's
not unreasonable to want to protect assets owned before a couple met.
How is a pre-nuptial agreement set up?
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-nuptial agreement before I get married?
It is possible to enter into an agreement during the marriage eg a post-nuptial
How will my children be affected?
If you have children you must contain provisions for them in the pre-nup for the
court to consider.
Call the pre-nup experts
Remember, if you'd like to know more about pre-nuptial agreements, our specialist
lawyers are here to help. Please call us on 0808 129 3320 or send
us an email using our online enquiry form.
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