Effects of lockdown on weddings and civil partnerships

As a result of the national lockdown weddings and civil partnerships can only take place with up to six people and only in exceptional circumstances for example where one party is seriously ill or is to undergo debilitating treatment or life-changing surgery.

A recent survey carried out by Hitched found that 71% of couples are postponing their wedding date due to the impact of Covid-19.

From a practical point, anyone who has postponed their wedding or has recently got engaged has plenty of time to think about whether a pre-nuptial agreement may be beneficial.

Planning a Pre-Nuptial Agreement

A Pre-nuptial Agreement sets out what you intend to happen to your money and property if your marriage or civil partnership were to end and can provide more certainty.

Even if your wedding plans are on hold due to the pandemic, if you are thinking about a Pre-nuptial Agreement it is sensible to obtain specialist legal advice as soon as possible.

Entering into a Pre-nuptial Agreement does not mean that you are more likely to get divorced. It is a way of organising your finances and may be particularly beneficial where:

 One of you has substantially greater capital or income than the other.

  • One or both of you wishes to protect assets you owned prior to the marriage including inheritances or family trusts.
  • One or both of you has children from a previous marriage or relationship and wishes to protect assets for the purposes of inheritance planning.
  • One or both of you has a connection with or property in another jurisdiction.

 Whilst Pre-nuptial Agreements are not strictly binding in England and Wales, in the event of a later divorce or dissolution, the terms of a Pre-nuptial Agreement may be decisive unless the effect of the agreement would be unfair.

Considerations of a Pre-nuptial Agreement

The courts have indicated that for a Pre-nuptial Agreement to be considered fair the following will be considered:

  • Whether both parties had independent legal advice
  • Whether there was full financial disclosure
  • Whether the terms of the agreement are substantially fair
  • That neither party felt pressured.
  • Whether there was any fraud or misrepresentation
  • Whether legal contractual requirements were followed

A Pre-nuptial Agreement is a bespoke document prepared to suit your circumstances so early planning is important.

It can take time to deal with financial disclosure, negotiations and obtaining legal advice so it is important to plan and obtain specialist legal advice as early as possible.

It is good practice to finalise the agreement in enough time before the wedding or civil partnership ceremony so that neither party feels any undue pressure to agree to anything.

If you have time before your wedding, then use this to reflect on your financial position and whether a Pre-nuptial Agreement is something that you should consider.

Here to help

If you would like further information on how we can help or if you have any more questions on Pre-Nuptial Agreements, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Family team on 0161 941 4000 or via email.