A prenuptial agreement is a contract entered into between two people before they get married. The contract will set out what should happen to their assets should the marriage fail. This is usually sought when one or both parties to the marriage have built up considerable wealth prior to the marriage and would like to protect their assets in the event of a divorce in the future.
Prenuptial agreements are not legally binding in the UK but recent cases have established clearer guidelines to help the courts decide when they should be upheld. Those guidelines can be summarised as follows:
- Both parties must have had independent legal advice before entering into the agreement.
- Both parties must understand the income and assets of the other prior to entering into the agreement.
- The agreement must have been signed at least 21 days before the date of the marriage.
- Neither party should feel coerced or pressured into entering into the agreement.
- The agreement must be fair and reasonable, if it is weighted too heavily in favour of one party then it may be seen to be unfair.
- There should be no circumstances since signing which would make the agreement inappropriate such as the birth of a child or children. In the event of changes, the agreement should be reviewed to ensure it still meets the guidelines.
If you would like to talk to us about a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, please do make an appointment for an initial consultation with one of our solicitors