When planning a wedding, you might not necessarily think about what would happen if the marriage did not work. While it may seem peculiar to highlight it at a time of great joy, in some cases it may be sensible to make a prenuptial agreement, particularly if you wish to protect your business assets or make sure that assets are kept for children you may already have. Prenuptial agreements are perceived by some to be pessimistic and unromantic. Others argue that an agreement can save time, expense and acrimony.
We believe prenuptial agreements should be seen as a kind of insurance in the event of a break-up. This can protect your assets and your family in several ways. These agreements can be particularly helpful if:
- You need to protect business or commercial assets
- Although you are marrying for the first time you want to keep any assets owned prior to the marriage separate, such as sizeable equity in property
- You have had a previous divorce and understand that an agreement can reduce complications if your relationship doesn’t work out
- You wish to preserve assets for your children, especially so where your children are from a previous relationship.
Following the landmark decision in the case of Radmacher v Granatino in October 2010, which gave “decisive” weight to prenuptial agreements, Pindoria Solicitors has seen a marked rise in the number of clients contacting us about a prenuptial agreement in the UK.
It is important to note that prenuptial agreements are still not legally enforceable in England and Wales. However, judges are attaching more weight to prenuptial agreements and are more likely to uphold them.
When we advise a client about a relationship that has broken down, when a prenuptial agreement is in place, we ask certain questions. These include:
- How soon before the wedding was the prenuptial agreement signed?
- Was any pressure placed on the parties to sign it?
- How was it negotiated?
- Was there any negotiation at all, or was the agreement imposed on one party?
- Was there full and frank disclosure of the finances of both parties?
- Did both parties receive legal advice?
In our experience, a prenuptial agreement is more likely to be upheld if its contents are reasonable, clearly not out of date (providing for future children, for example, and preferably a review after a period of time) and if it was properly drafted with full disclosure.
If you are considering a prenuptial agreement and would like advice, book an appointment today.