A pre-nuptial agreement (or a ‘pre-nup’ as they’re more commonly known) is a formal agreement drawn up prior to marriage that details the division of a couple’s assets in the event of divorce. It can also cover issues such as where any children the couple have will live and any other practical issues that would need to be resolved if a relationship ends.
Although pre-nuptial agreements are often associated with celebrities and the wealthy, they are an affordable option for most couples and can provide peace of mind during your relationship as well as making life much easier if you do ever separate.
Thinking about splitting from your partner before you’ve even married them may seem a bit unromantic, but the sad fact is that 42% of marriages do end in divorce. It can, therefore, be a good idea to sit down with your partner to discuss whether it’s right for you both.
Is a pre-nup right for you?
While most couple can benefit from a pre-nup, there are a number of circumstances where it may be a particularly good idea.
For instance, if you or your partner have children from another relationship or where there are drastic differences in your financial situations, these issues should be considered. This can allow you to make sure you have plans in place to ensure you are both treated fairly if your relationship ends and that everyone’s needs are considered.
These conversations can be very sensitive in nature, so it’s always best to plan this long before your wedding date to ensure the pressure is off and that you’re both completely comfortable with any decisions made. Once you decide to go ahead with a pre-nup, it is a good idea to seek advice from a solicitor, who can help you go through the more technical aspects of the negotiations.
If pre-nups aren’t legally binding – is there any point?
While pre-nups are not currently legally binding in England and Wales, they usually carry substantial weight in court. In general, a pre-nup will be taken into account during divorce proceedings so long as certain safeguards were met when drawing up the agreement.
Those safeguards are:
- Both you and your partner must have received independent legal advice about the agreement.
- Both you and your partner fully disclosed all assets prior to the agreement, and nothing was omitted.
- The agreement must be entered at least 21 days before the marriage.
- Neither you or your partner were under stress or pressure to sign the agreement against your will.
- There have been no significant changes in your marriage that might make the agreement questionable (e.g. having children)
- The agreement is both fair and realistic, in favour of both you and your partner.
An experienced solicitor will be able to draft a strong pre-nup that stands a good chance of being upheld in court and meets all of the above safeguards.
At Crisp & Co, our family lawyers are experts in all aspects of pre-nuptial agreements and can provide sound, specialist advice. Our aim is to provide you with a first rate and bespoke service by guiding you through the sensitive and legal complexities of a pre-nuptial agreement.
For more information, speak to one of our specialist lawyers today by calling 02037974952 or request a call back by using our enquiry form below.