A legal document might be the last thing on your mind in the run up to your wedding or civil partnership, but a prenuptial agreement is a sensible way to protect your assets before marrying. This removes doubt, worries and insecurities on both sides so you can focus on what is really important, knowing your interests and those of your partner are protected.
Do I need a prenuptial agreement?
A prenup or prenuptial agreement is an agreement made between two people ahead of their impending marriage or civil partnership.
There is a common misconception that prenuptial agreements are only available to, or suitable for, celebrities, or those with considerable wealth. In reality, they are a realistic option for anyone wishing to protect assets acquired before the relationship should things go wrong in the future. This is often a concern for those who have been married before and those who have children from previous relationships.
What does a prenuptial agreement include?
A prenuptial agreement offers both parties an opportunity to clearly specify how their money, properties and inheritances are to be treated, or ring fenced, should the marriage break down. Some couples decide to have one prepared after they are married or have entered into a civil partnership. These are known as postnuptial agreements and work in the same way as a prenuptial agreement.
Are prenuptial agreements enforceable?
While prenuptial agreements are not legally binding, they can carry significant weight if they are created and executed correctly. The existence of a prenuptial agreement can save you from incurring significant legal costs and shield you from some of the emotional turbulence surrounding the finances if the relationship breaks down.
For a prenuptial agreement to carry weight in the event of a relationship breakdown, there are certain formalities in respect of their creation and execution, which must be carried out correctly. They include:
- Ensuring a prenuptial agreement is signed at least 28 days before the date of your marriage or civil partnership ceremony
- There needs to be full financial disclosure
- You should both receive separate and independent legal advice
- You should make suitable financial provision for any children or future children
- The terms of the agreement should be fair and should be reviewed regularly to maintain fairness
- The agreement must comply with contract law
- Both of you must sign the agreement willingly and without pressure
The last thing on most engaged couples’ minds is ‘what if it all goes wrong?’ but if the pandemic has taught us anything, it is to plan for the unexpected. A pre-nuptial agreement can take away some of the uncertainty of the future and provide peace of mind should the worst happen
Why choose Trethowans?
Our specialist solicitors can guide you through the preparation of a prenuptial agreement to give you the best chance that a Court will uphold the agreement if your relationship subsequently breaks down.
We are listed in The Times as one of 50 Best Law Firms in England & Wales 2023 for Family Law.
We offer a free initial consultation to help you consider your options without obligation. If you need to expert advice, please contact our team today.