Prenuptial agreements, or prenups, are growing in popularity in the UK. They are very popular in the US and have come to the attention of the UK media through various celebrity marriages and break-ups. But if you are in the UK and are looking to marry your partner, should you have a prenup drawn up and how should you do it?
Firstly, prenups in the UK are not legally binding. Since a landmark case called Radmacher v Granatino, heard by the Supreme Court in 2010 courts are more willing to put weight on a prenup during a divorce process, but the judge has the final say during the divorce, not the prenup.
Judges will put the needs of any children from the marriage before the prenup. Even if there are no children, a judge can decide to split up assets differently to what is stated in the prenup if there are good reasons. But as the popularity of prenups grows, so does the influence that they have in the event of a divorce.
If you feel that a prenup is right for you, in order to protect your assets for yourself and your family, then you must seek the advice of a family lawyer in order to have a prenup drawn up. Although this won’t be the most romantic moment of your engagement it gives many couples the peace of mind that they need to enjoy a long and happy marriage.
A prenup is much more likely to be upheld in court if it has been well and fairly drafted, if neither party was under duress, if both parties sought independent legal advice and if both parties have been completely honest about their financial situations. This means that if you want a prenup then you will need the help of an experienced family lawyer.
Most couples who enter into prenuptial agreements are those with large financial assets, or those who have a desire to protect their financial assets for existing children. A lot of prenups are drawn up for couples that have both previously been divorced and may have a more cynical approach to marriage.
Speak to a family lawyer if you are considering a prenup, so you have up-to-date legal advice and can decide if it is the right thing to do for your situation.