Pre-Nuptial Agreement – The Death of Romance or a Sensible Move?

As it’s Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d  take a look at pre-nuptial agreements.  I know, I know, last of the romantics !

Whilst it is not the most romantic of topics depending upon your circumstances, it may actually be very sensible to have an agreement in place prior to marriage. Most of us don’t go into marriage expecting  it to end in divorce but it is a harsh reality that separation or divorce does happen and it may be sensible for you to set out your financial intentions in the event of a divorce at the outset.

When to make a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

If either partner in the relationship  has substantial assets independent of one another, you may wish to protect these before entering into a marriage or civil partnership. You may be involved in a business partnership which you would like to protect and not see this become part of any divorce settlement. You may have previously suffered financial hardship as a result of a failed marriage and do not wish to repeat this.

Are Pre-Nuptial Agreements Legally Binding?

As it stands, pre-nuptial agreements are not legally binding. However, in the event of a divorce and associated financial proceedings, a Court is likely to take into account the wishes set out within the Agreement so long as certain criteria have been met. In order for a pre-nuptial agreement to be considered the following must be met:

  • Both parties received independent legal advice at the outset.
  • The agreement must be entered into more than 21 days before the marriage
  • Full details of all assets were disclosed at the time the agreement was made.
  • The agreement is fair.
  • There has been no significant change in the relationship such as the birth of children of the marriage. The agreement can be reviewed and amended in the event of the birth of children or other significant changes.
  • There was no duress or pressure upon either party to sign the agreement

If you would like further advice in relation to pre-nuptial agreements or any other family law matter, please do not hesitate to contact me on 0161 682 2400.

Karen Kenyon

Family Solicitor


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