Prenuptial agreements in the UK

A prenuptial agreement is an agreement made by a couple before they marry or enter into a civil partnership, which regards how their assets would be divided if the marriage was not to work out.

One of our previous blogs discussed the rise of ‘social media prenups’ in America and how these contracts are now growing in popularity in the UK.

Many people are now choosing these social media prenups as due to the culture of over sharing and playing out of relationships on social media, they want to set boundaries on what material relating to the relationship is appropriate to share and what is not.

Prenuptial agreements are not yet legally binding in the UK, however, more recently courts have been prepared to add more weight to these agreements, if both parties entered into the agreement willingly and with a full awareness of its implications.

The Law Commission proposed last year that prenuptial agreements should be taken into consideration in divorce settlements after the needs of the couple and their children have been accounted for.

The government was due to give a final response to this in February but have delayed their response until after the next General Election.

Justice Minister, Simon Hughes, stated “The Family Justice Council is producing the guidance on needs that we recommended and the Ministry of Justice is undertaking scoping work on the feasibility of developing non-statutory and numerical guidance on the calculation of financial needs. The Government considers that there is unlikely to be time for the Nuptial Agreements Bill to progress through Parliament before it is dissolved in March 2015 ahead of the General Election.”

He also added that it was not a rejection of their proposal but that the new government would have time to consider the matter further.

Therefore we will soon see the government’s final response on prenuptial agreements, and if there will be an effect on divorce settlements.

For more information on Prenuptial Agreements, speak to one of our Family Law Solicitors on 0151 264 7363.