I Do... Again! Being Secure in your Second Marriage


When it comes to getting married after a previous divorce, you may be looking for a bit more security and mutual understanding before taking the plunge. A prenuptial agreement (or pre-nup) may be appropriate for you to address your concerns.

Prenuptial agreements

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

Simply put, a prenuptial agreement is a contract, an agreement between two people before they marry one another. It can cover a broad spectrum of issues (both in the marriage, and what will happen if the marriage breaks down) including:

  • Who owns what
  • Who will pay for what
  • Who will do what in relation to the children
  • What will happen if one party does a certain thing, for example, commits adultery or uses drugs

If you have previously been married, a prenuptial agreement may offer peace of mind, knowing that everyone's cards are on the table. This can allow you to enjoy married life and not worry about such things.

How Does a Pre-nup Work?

The courts said in 2010 that pre-nups can have 'decisive or compelling weight'. This means that courts will follow many prenuptial agreements, where:

  • The agreement was made freely by each person, without pressure
  • Each person understood what the effects of the agreement would be
  • The agreement doesn't hinder the needs of any children

However, sometimes an agreement can essentially be 'ripped up' by the courts.

The Law Commission recently proposed to make prenuptial agreements legally binding. This would mean that generally, what is written stands, in a similar way to wills.

What can I do?

The court will consider each of the things mentioned above when they make a decision on whether to go along with a prenup or not. Because of this, it is absolutely essential that it is done properly. In the 2010 legal battle, Katrin Radmacher, a German paper company heiress won her case to make her pre-nup stand, commenting that:

"I know some people think of pre-nuptial agreements as being unromantic, but for us it was meant to be a way of proving you are marrying only for love."

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