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5 Things you Need to Know about Pre-Nuptial Agreements

prenuptial agreements family lawyer ChesterfieldWith the most recent statistics from 2021 showing that 42% of marriages now end in divorce in the UK, it’s no surprise that more and more couples who choose to marry are considering Pre-Nuptial Agreements to protect themselves in case their marriage doesn’t last.  As specialists in Matrimonial and Family law, we often get asked about Pre-Nups. If you’re getting married, here are 5 things we think you need to know about Pre-Nups before you tie the knot.

1. What is a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

A Pre-Nuptial Agreement is a contract entered into both freely and voluntarily by a couple before marriage, civil partnership, or same-sex marriage. In the event of a divorce or separation, a Pre-Nuptial Agreement would set out what were to happen to the couple’s assets, liabilities and other considerations, such as children.

2. When Might I Need a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

Anyone is able to enter into a Pre-Nuptial Agreement prior to them getting married. You don’t have to be a celebrity or super rich. However, you may have more interest in having a Pre-Nuptial Agreement if:

  1. a) You have substantial assets that you want to protect
  2. b) You have a business that you want to protect
  3. c) Your future spouse has significant debts
  4. d) You have children from a previous marriage or relationship for whom you would like to protect assets

3. Are Pre-Nups Legally Binding?

Although Pre-Nuptial Agreements are not actually legally binding in the UK, the terms of these agreements are often decisive and highly persuasive in the event of a dispute that is dealt with by the Court, unless the effect of the Agreement is deemed to be unfair. Pre-Nuptial Agreements are assessed by the Court on a case-by-case basis and are dependent on the circumstances surrounding the contract.

Recent case law has shown that judges are prepared to give these agreements substantial weight, and therefore uphold them; providing they are drafted correctly, and that certain precautionary steps were taken when the Agreement was drawn up and signed. Agreements drawn up by Family Law Solicitors are considered much more legally sound provided certain criteria are met, so proper legal advice is very important to ensure that the right precautions are taken.

4. Can Pre-Nuptial Agreements be Drawn Up for Civil Partnerships Too?

Yes, Pre-Nuptial Agreements can be drawn up for those entering into a Civil Partnership or same-sex marriage. As long as they are drafted correctly, preferably by matrimonial and family law specialists, they will be legally sound.

5. Does The Pre-Nuptial Agreement Last Forever

Essentially, yes. However, it is advised that the Agreement is reviewed on a regular basis, especially where there is a major change in the life of the couple, for example the birth of another child or an inheritance for one of the parties. This is because, the longer the Agreement remains as it was before the marriage, the higher the possibility that the Court will see it as outdated and potentially unfair. Regular reviews make it more likely that the Agreement will hold up in Court should the couple divorce or separate.

More Advice on Pre-Nuptial Agreements

We know that no one really goes into a marriage hoping or expecting it will end, but if circumstances change, or something unexpected happens, a Pre-Nuptial Agreement can provide both parties with much greater certainty on the outcome of any divorce. If you are looking for advice and expertise surrounding Pre-Nuptial 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 6 Sep 2022, 10:48 AM

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