Do Prenuptial Agreements Mean Anything in the UK?
Once thought of as unromantic documents written up by the rich and famous to protect their assets, prenuptial agreements have become much more common in the UK over the last few years. But do they mean anything in the eyes of the law, and do they actually protect you in the event of a divorce?
Are Prenups Legally Binding in the UK?
When talking about prenups, this is often the first question asked. Technically, no, prenups aren’t legally binding in the UK. However, the terms of a prenuptial agreement are often decisive in the event of a dispute that is dealt with by the court, unless the effect of the agreement is deemed to be unfair.
A prenuptial agreement is more likely to be upheld if the following conditions are met:
- The agreement was signed at least 21 days before the wedding took place
- Both parties received independent legal advice before they signed the agreement
- At the time of creating the agreement, there was full financial disclosure including assets and debts
- The agreement was freely entered into
- The agreement is fair, reasonable and mutually beneficial to both parties and, if applicable, children
Prenuptial agreements will also be assessed by the Court on a case by case basis, dependant on the circumstances surrounding the contract. Contracts drawn up by family law solicitors are considered much more legally sound, so it’s definitely worth getting proper advice on taking the right precautions to ensure it is valid.
Why Would I Consider a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?
If you are getting married, there may be many reasons why it might be worth considering a prenuptial agreement. If there was a later divorce, it would simply mean that your assets would have a much better chance of being divided in a way that is considered fair for both parties. But there are many more reasons too.
Perhaps this is not your first marriage and you wish to protect your assets? Perhaps there are children or dependants involved from previous relationships, and you’d like to ensure their future financial stability? Or perhaps one party has significant assets, or there is an imbalance in financial provision.
Of course, no one really goes into a marriage hoping or expecting it will end, but if circumstances change, or something unexpected happens, a prenuptial agreement can provide both parties with much greater certainty on the outcome of any divorce.
If you are looking for advice and expertise surrounding prenuptial agreements, Vines Legal can help. For a free initial consultation with our specialist family lawyers, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01246 555610.
By Vines Legal on 18 Jun 2020, 12:08 PM