Your marriage may be a long and happy one; but should the unthinkable happen and a separation occur, a pre-nuptial agreement can protect you.
You may associate prenuptial agreements with celebrities. Yet such contracts are no longer the preserve of the rich and famous. More and more, normal people are using pre-nuptial agreements to help avoid long, costly and bitter court battles in the future.
Do you want to create a pre-nuptial agreement and need advice? Or do you want an expert lawyer to draw up the proper legal documentation? Whatever your needs may be, you should know that First4lawyers can guide you through the process.
While UK divorce courts do not yet consider pre-nuptial agreements to be binding in law, such contracts can now act as a main point of reference in legal disputes. With this in mind, you need a pre-nuptial agreement that adheres to the letter of the law and offers you an effective legal safeguard.
What is a pre-nuptial agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is a contract that couples enter into before getting married. It will outline how you and your future spouse wish to split your finances and property should the marriage end.
Are pre-nuptial agreements legally-binding in the UK?
Pre-nuptial agreements are not strictly binding in UK law. Yet since the landmark case of Radmacher vs. Granatino in 2010, this has changed. In the Radmacher case, the UK Supreme Court upheld a pre-nuptial agreement for the first time.
This set a precedent for such contracts to play a major part in future divorces. In simple terms, the courts may now uphold pre-nuptial agreements as long as they adhere to strict legal guidelines:
- Both future spouses should have access to all of the information that is relevant to their own decision to sign the contract. Each party should intend that the agreement will decide how the couple will split their finances at the end of the marriage.
- Both parties sign the agreement knowing fully what each of its terms imply. The exception would be if a change in circumstances renders the agreement unfair.
- The agreement does not prejudice the reasonable requirements of any children or family.
- The contract includes terms that address non-marital, pre-owned assets. The more the agreement addresses unknown future assets, the more likely that the court will deem the agreement unfair.
What should my pre-nuptial agreement include?
When drawing up your prenuptial agreement, you should start by setting the terms for how you wish to divide your possessions in the event that marriage breaks down. You may wish to define the terms of a financial settlement in the event of divorce. You could also set out which party should own what assets during the marriage.
Do I need a pre-nuptial agreement?
Do you or your partner have lots of assets? Or do you wish to protect a business, inheritance, or children from previous relationships?
If any of these things are true in your case, it would advisable to draw up and sign a pre-nuptial agreement as a safety net against legal issues in the future, and to keep personal finances away from the courts.
I want a pre-nuptial agreement – what should I do?
To make sure your pre-nuptial agreement has a strong basis in UK law, we advise you seek legal advice as soon as possible.
Here at First4lawyers, we can match you to a number of expert family lawyers with experience in drawing up fair and reasonable pre-nuptial agreements. With their help, you can be sure that your agreement will respect your wishes and needs.
If you’re eager to have a pre-nuptial agreement that has a strong legal basis and protects your interests, you can get in touch.