Prenuptial agreement

It is a common misconception that prenuptial agreements are for the very wealthy. However, prenuptial agreements should be used in every case where one party wishes to protect their pre-marital (or even expected) wealth. 

In England and Wales, prenuptial agreements are not strictly binding in the event of a divorce, but the terms of the agreement may be decisive in the event of a dispute that is dealt with by the court unless the effect of the agreement would be unfair.

There are several reasons to enter into a prenuptial agreement even if you do not have significant pre-marital assets to protect.

  • You may have children from a previous marriage or relationship for who you want to protect assets. 
  • You may wish to protect assets you owned prior to the marriage, including property or family trusts.
  • You may want to safeguard expected future inheritance. 

A prenuptial agreement is a bespoke document and is tailored to your circumstances. A prenuptial agreement should be considered if there are certain assets that you would like to ring-fence before getting married or entering into a civil partnership.

Setting out a prenuptial agreement

A well-drafted prenuptial agreement will help to provide clarity so that you and your partner make it clear to one another that certain property belongs to you alone and that it will not be shared on any future divorce. 

There are certain things that couples usually include within a prenuptial agreement to set out how they would like to arrange their finances in the event of a divorce, including: 

  • What will happen to the property that either party brought into the marriage;
  • What will happen to the family home;
  • What will happen to any property given to either party or inherited during the marriage;
  • What will happen to any personal belongings or possessions owned before the marriage;
  • What will happen with pensions;
  • How you will deal with any debts.

A prenuptial agreement can give more certainty about the financial arrangements if you divorce. Both parties will need independent legal advice on the agreement, and they will need to disclose to one another information about their assets, liabilities and income. The agreement should be drafted at least six weeks before the marriage. 

Here to help

If you are planning to marry or enter into a civil partnership and you want to ensure that certain assets are protected from claims for financial provision on divorce or dissolution, you can contact our Family Solicitors below. 

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