Pre Nuptial Agreements

So you are planning on getting married? Worried about what your position might be if the relationship breaks down? A Pre Nup (as they have become known) may be an answer for you.

Why not consider entering into a Pre Nuptial Agreement to agree with your spouse what will happen if things don’t work out for you both? Until 2010 these type of Contracts were frowned upon by Judges who believed that anyone getting married had a duty to stay together. However a Case decided by the Supreme Court in 2010, involving a German heiress worth £100 million and her French millionaire husband, changed all that even though the Supreme Court Judges were not unanimous when arriving at their decision.

These are not, however, just for the rich and famous – you are as able to enter into one as anyone else is.

When you are about to get married and are the one who starts discussions as to what would happen should the marriage break down you are unlikely to be seen as romantic! However, giving thought to such issues at the outset is both a sensible and pragmatic way of protecting yourself for the future, particularly where

  • there may be an imbalance of assets, or
  • you have monies you would wish to ring fence from a previous relationship

Should things go wrong, you will have a clear idea of where you stand and be able to turn to a document setting out your intentions at the time you became involved in that relationship.

If you are going to co-habit you can enter into a Co-habitation Agreement so that you each know what you are financially responsible for – this will help to resolve a problem more amicably than would otherwise be the case.

How do they work?

  • You need to act quickly because a Pre Nuptial Agreement should be made at least 14 days before you get married
  • We will obtain and consider full financial disclosure from both your future husband/wife and yourself and having discussed your needs and desires with you we will prepare the necessary document

Are they enforceable?

“Not 100% yet” is the answer at the moment.

Pre Nuptial Agreements have never been binding under English law but recent Cases (see above)suggest that either Judges or, the Government may change this in the future. What is clear is that Pre Nuptial Agreements are now being taken more account of by Judges than ever before, especially if both parties received independent legal advice when entering into the Agreement after full Disclosure was provided. However, any material change in circumstances such as having children would mean that the Agreement would be far harder to enforce.

The law for Pre Civil Partnership Agreements is likely to develop in the same way as that for Pre Nuptial Agreements.

Have you made a Will?

If you have not then click here – if you have then when you marry, any Will you have made previously becomes null and void unless it was specifically made in contemplation of your marriage.

So call us now if you want confidential advice as to how a Pre Nuptial or Pre Civil Partnership Agreement might benefit you.