A ‘Prenup’ is an agreement made by a couple before they marry. It sets out how they would like their existing assets to be split if they divorce at some future date. The prenup is becoming more popular in the UK because after the marriage all of the couple’s assets become matrimonial assets. A Prenup is designed to try control how claims on those assets by the other party should be decided if the marriage ends.
There are many reasons why you may need a prenup. You may have substantial assets that you may want to protect in event of a divorce especially if they are connected with your business. You may want to safeguard assets for your children from an earlier marriage.
A prenup contract properly drafted by a specialist family lawyer with appropriate independant advice being given to both parties can be persuasive evidence to the court evidencing how a couple agreed before they married to divide their property. It is possible that prenup agreements could become enforceable in England & Wales at some time in the future.
The courts have already decided to accept that decisive weight can be given to Prenups. The courts may continue to move towards the prenup becoming legally enforceable in England and Wales. Prenups are becoming increasingly popular as a method of protecting assets owned before marriage as well as inherited assets, and other interests. It is important to bear in mind that the Courts will not follow a pre-nup if for example it has an adverse effect on the children of the marriage such as leaving one party with very little compared to the richer party such that this impacts on the time the children spend with the poorer partner. It is important to bear this in mind when drawing a pre-nup as once the court decides it is not fair or not appropriate to rely on the terms of the pre-nup then there is no telling how far the Court will veer away from the agreement.
It is equally important to consider a similar arrangement where you are going to live together without getting married. Check our Cohabitation page.
If have significant assets and are thinking of marriage you ought toconsider a Prenup and contact Jennifer Mundy by Email or telephone her on 01732 360999.