Pre-Nuptial Agreements

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Did you know?

Pre-nuptial agreements do carry some weight in the UK – assuming certain conditions are met.

A pre-nuptial agreement is referenced should your marriage or civil partnership end.

Although prenuptial/pre-civil partnership agreements are not legally enforceable in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, they do carry more weight since the judgement in the Supreme Court case of Radmacher vs Granatino (20 October 2010).

This is because they are no longer seen as ‘contrary to public policy’ – i.e. no longer seen as perversion of justice or harmful to the state and the public. Courts should give effect to such agreements when deciding on settlements.

This means that the terms of the agreement should be implemented when certain criteria are met.

Some such criteria include that the court must, at the time of the separation, be in a position to find that, the agreement was entered into freely, voluntarily and without undue pressure; both you and your partner fully appreciated its implications and offered full disclosure of all relevant information; both you and your partner intended the agreement to be effective and to govern the financial implications of divorce/dissolution; it would be fair to hold the parties to the agreement at the time of the divorce/dissolution.
It is important that each of you take independent legal advice on the agreement before signing it. You would also need to be careful that the agreement is applicable to the location where you intend to live (e.g. England, Wales etc)

How we can help

You do not need to be a member of My Legal Club to benefit from the pre-nuptial agreement services we offer.

We would of course recommend being a member as you will receive unique discounts against any legal fees with solicitors.

You also receive a discount on any pre-nuptial agreement in our online legal document library.

If you are thinking about a pre-nuptial agreement we can help in the following ways:

  • Via one of our highly recommended solicitors

Speak with one of our carefully selected panel of specialists on hand to advise you. Remember that members of My Legal Club also receive a unique discount against any charges or fees agreed with the solicitor.

  • Via our online legal document library

You can access a pre-nuptial agreement and complete the document interactively by filling out our online questionnaires. The questions, and document, changes as you answer the questions posed. There are plenty of simple to read guidance notes and additional information at every stage.

Whilst you both require independent legal advice for a pre-nuptial agreement to be valid you could save money by drafting the document in our online legal document library before forwarding to the solicitors advising you both.

Our recommendation

Our recommendation is to always seek legal advice in first instance.

Speak to one of our highly recommended solicitors and then consider your options and what is the best fit for you and your situation.

You can speak with our solicitors by contacting us via the contact us form on our website or via email at info@mylegalclub.co.uk.

Get in touch

Getting started with us couldn’t be easier.

You do not need to be a member of My Legal Club to benefit from the services we offer.

We would of course recommend being a member as you will receive unique discounts against any legal fees with solicitors.

You also receive a discount on all documents in our online legal document library.

You can get in touch with us via the contact us form on our website or via email at info@mylegalclub.co.uk.

For further information in respect of pre-nuptial agreements please review the information below.

Pre-Nuptial Agreements – Frequently Asked Questions

Why get a prenuptial agreement?

Money can be an extremely emotive topic in a relationship, especially if you have different attitudes towards spending and saving. A prenuptial agreement provides a clear agreement that can lead to peace of mind for both parties.

You might think about getting a prenuptial agreement for the following reasons:

  • There are assets and/or property that would be hard to split 50/50
  • You, and/or your partner, have children from a previous relationship and want to ensure certain assets are reserved for them and protect their inheritance rights. (It is also crucial to make a Will for the same reason.)
  • You want to protect inherited money or assets
  • You want to safeguard substantial savings or expected future inheritance
  • You want some say in how financial issues would be resolved in the event of a marriage breakdown (especially if you’ve suffered unfairness in divorce courts previously)
  • Either party own a business which they’d like to retain control of
  • If your partner has outstanding debt, a prenuptial agreement with a ‘debt clause’ can protect you from being liable for that debt
What should be included in a prenuptial agreement?

Every prenuptial agreement is tailored to a couple’s particular circumstances; however it will usually contain an inventory of each partner’s assets, and details of how they are to be dealt with in the event of a marriage breakdown.

It may also set out post-divorce financial arrangements for children, particularly in marriages where one or both partners already have children from previous relationships. Courts will pay particular attention to any matters relating to children, and are unlikely to support any terms in the agreement that are deemed to be harmful to the interests of a child.

What happens to the assets if a marriage with no pre-nup ends in divorce?

In the UK, the court sees the couple’s respective roles as “economic provider and child carer/homemaker as of equal value to the welfare of the family”.

This means that without a pre-nup, the starting point for the division of property and assets will generally be equality of assets between both parties.

While this is generally the fairest distribution of a couple’s assets, if any of the reasons for getting a pre-nup outlined in (3) above) apply to you and your partner, then a 50/50 spilt may feel unjust.

Pre-nup checklist

There are a number of factors that need to be in place when you enter into a prenuptial agreement.

This is because, when considering if the agreement is fair and should be upheld, the court will look at things such as whether both parties understood it properly and if they had enough time to review it before signing.

We’ve put together a checklist to help your prenuptial agreement have the best chance of being upheld in divorce court:

  • To comply with UK law, the pre-nup must be drawn up by a qualified solicitor
  • Both parties must have separate solicitors to avoid any claim of conflict of interest
  • Both parties must fully understand the agreement and voluntarily agree to it
  • Both solicitors must confirm it was entered into freely and knowingly
  • The prenuptial agreement should be signed at least 21 days before the marriage
  • All assets and property must be fully disclosed by both parties

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