Latest statistics estimate that 42% of marriages in England and Wales end in divorce. It is therefore natural that you might wish to agree before marrying what should happen to your assets in the event of a marriage breakdown. Prenuptial agreements can provide a measure of certainty and a record of your intensions at the outset. They provide evidence of what you intended to happen to pre-marital assets, inheritance, and existing family commitments for example provision for children from a previous marriage.
WHAT IS A PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENT?
A prenuptial agreement is a document, in which a couple intending to marry, set out their intentions concerning property both in joint names and owned solely (owned now or yet to be acquired), debts, income and other assets such as inheritance and gifts.
Without a "pre-nup" anything either of you have, could potentially be subject to a matrimonial claim n the event of divorce. The primary purpose of a pre-nuptial agreement is to smooth the path in the event of a break up and to try and avoid or limit litigation concerning the division of assets.
Anyone contemplating getting married should consider whether they would benefit from a pre-nuptial agreement.
DO I NEED A PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENT?
If you answer "Yes" to any of the following then you should consider obtaining a prenuptial agreement:
- I'm getting married and want to protect the assets I already have in case it doesn't work out.
- I want to protect my assets if things go wrong to ensure that I am able to leave financial provision for my existing children if my new marriage fails.
- This is my second marriage and I want to limit any potential financial claims that could be made against the settlement I received from my first marriage should I end up getting divorced again.
- I am a widower thinking of marrying again. I want to protect my assets in case things go wrong.
- I am about to marry but worry that if things go wrong in the future that I could end up engaging in a costly legal dispute as to "who gets what"
HOW DO I GET A PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENT?
If you would like to discuss whether a pre-nuptial agreement is right for you and the process involved in creating this agreement which is individual to you, call one of our solicitors to discuss your requirements.
WILL A PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENT STAND UP IN COURT?
At present a prenuptial agreement does not compel the court to implement the settlement contained within it as they are not 'automatically' upheld or enforced by the courts of England & Wales.
However courts today do take pre-nuptial agreements seriously, they are very important evidence of what you intended to happen to your assets in the event of a marriage breakdown.