Family Law Solicitors

Prenuptial Agreements

A prenuptial agreement is a formal, written agreement between two partners prior to their marriage.

A pre-nuptial agreement sets out ownership of the partners belongings (including money, assets and property). Therefore explains how it will be divided in the event of the breakdown of their marriage.

Prenuptial agreements are perceived by some to be pessimistic and unromantic. Others argue that a prenuptial agreement can avoid time, expense and acrimony if there is a breakdown of a marriage.

Legally binding?

It is important to note that prenuptial agreements are still not legally enforceable in England and Wales.

However, following the landmark decision in the case of Radmacher v Granatino [2010], judges put more weight to prenuptial agreements and are more likely to uphold them, unless they are considered to be unfair at the time the parties get a divorce.

In our experience, a prenuptial agreement is more likely to be upheld if it is signed at least 21 days before the wedding day, its contents are reasonable, clearly not out of date (providing for future children, for example, and preferably a review after a period of time) and if it was properly drafted by a family lawyer with both parties receiving independent legal advice and providing full financial disclosure.

They can give you ease of mind if:

  • You want to protect inheritance or future inheritance, both money and assets
  • There are assets and/or property that would be very hard to split 50/50
  • You have children from a previous relationship and want to ensure certain assets are reserved for them and protect their inheritance rights.
  • Either party own a business which they’d like to retain control of
  • If your spouse has outstanding debt, a prenuptial agreement with a ‘debt clause’ can protect you from being liable.