What is a pre-nuptial agreement?
A pre-nuptial agreement (also known as a pre-nup) is a formal, written agreement between two partners before they get married.
It outlines ownership of all their belongings (including money, assets and property) and explains how it will be divided in the event of a breakdown of their marriage.
Why should you get a pre-nuptial agreement?
Talking about money can be a sensitive topic for many, particularly in a relationship where you may have different attitudes towards spending and saving, as well as different incomes.
Drafting a pre-nuptial agreement offers peace of mind for both parties and can provide a clear agreement as to how assets are split between themselves and/or their families.
What can be included in a pre-nuptial agreement?
Pre-nuptial agreements are tailored to each couple’s particular circumstances.
It will usually list each of the partner’s assets, and detail how they are to be dealt with should the marriage end.
It may also set out financial arrangements for children, particularly in marriages where one or both partners already have children from previous relationships.
Are pre-nuptial agreements enforceable in UK courts?
Technically, no. But recent case law has shown that judges are prepared to give them substantial weight and uphold them as long as the correct steps were taken when the agreement was drafted and signed.
However, courts also have the discretion to abandon any pre or post-nuptial agreement, especially if it is deemed to be unfair to any children of the marriage.
What happens if a marriage with no pre-nuptial agreement ends in divorce?
Without a pre-nuptial agreement, money, property and assets are usually split equally between parties.