Why do I need a prenuptial agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is a written contract between two people before they get married.
You wouldn’t buy a house or start a job without a contract, so why would you enter the most important relationship of your life without one?
Couples use these contracts to define what each person’s property rights are, should your marriage break down along with any agreements surrounding debts or future inheritance.
We recognise this all sounds unromantic and sounds like you are anticipating a divorce, but there are crucial benefits including:
- They make you and your partner confront financial issues from the outset
- They minimise conflict during divorce as the division of assets has already been agreed
- You will have control over your own assets and where they will go
Pre-nuptial agreements (“prenups”) are becoming more and more common in the UK. Whilst they are still not automatically legally binding, the courts are deeming them more and more to have decisive weight in divorce cases if they are “done right”.
To create a binding agreement, you MUST address the following:
- The agreement must be entered into freely and should be negotiated as far in advance of the wedding as possible, no less than 28 days before the marriage (excluding the day of the wedding itself). By way of worked example, if the wedding was on 30/08, the pre-nup needs to be entered into by 01/08 at the latest.
- The implications of the agreement are fully understood and that both parties should be in full possession of all material financial information before signing the agreement. Furthermore, it is important you both receive separate legal advice before signing the agreement.
- The agreement must be fair. It must meet the needs of any children born before or after the signing of the agreement and must leave you both comfortably provided for.
- You should agree to review these arrangements ideally every 5 years or on the happening of a trigger event such as the birth of any child, or if one of you is unable to work due to an incapacity or involuntary redundancy to ensure the agreement remains fair with the passage of time and in the event of a significant change of circumstances.
If you do not have a prenup and you go on to get a divorce, you will then need to work out how to split your assets at a time when emotions are already running high. If you cannot reach an agreement, your dispute may end up in court where a Judge will determine matters for you which may mean the assets being divided equally.
To arrange a free 30 minute initial consultation click here to email us and we’ll call you back. You can also use the live chat in the bottom corner of this page to request a call back.