10 common questions about prenuptial agreements

10 common questions about prenuptial agreements

prenuptial agreements

1. Are they legally binding in the UK?

Over the last 5 years the higher Courts in England and Wales have increasingly taken into account the provisions of Pre and Post-Nuptial Agreements in Financial Proceedings associated with marital breakdown. However, Prenuptial Agreements are not, as yet, binding as such in a Court.

2. Are Prenuptial Agreements just for wealthy people?

Prenuptial Agreements are becoming increasingly common amongst couples who have a varying capital and income. They may wish to protect, for instance, their future income, a business and any future inheritance as well as other assets of a modest nature accumulated prior to the marriage.

3. Do you need separate legal advice?

A Prenuptial Agreement is much more likely to carry weight with a Court if each party has had independent legal advice. If one party has not had legal advice then, at the very least, that party should have been given the opportunity of obtaining such advice.

4. Do you need to disclose all your assets?

For a Prenuptial Agreement to stand the best chance of being enforced by the Court there should be an exchange of full and frank disclosure between the parties prior to entering into the terms of the Agreement.

5. What if there is a change in circumstances?

A well drafted Prenuptial Agreement should include the provision for review at certain future points such as if the couple go on to have or adopt children.

6. When does a Prenuptial Agreement need to be entered into?

The Agreement should be entered into no later than 3 weeks prior to the date of the marriage.

7. What do you do if you have left it too late to ensure that a Prenuptial Agreement is entered into in good time prior to the marriage? 

A Prenuptial Agreement can still be entered into. However to ensure appropriate protection the parties should follow this up by also entering into a Post-Nuptial Agreement following the marriage.

8. How do Prenuptial Agreements differ from Post-Nuptial Agreements?

Post-Nuptial Agreements are very similar to Prenuptial Agreements except that they are entered into following the marriage rather than before it.

9. Are some assets easier to protect than others?

Some assets are easier to protect than matrimonial assets such as the marital home. These assets include investments which one party has accumulated prior to the marriage, or inheritances which are kept separate and apart from the other party’s assets. A Prenuptial Agreement may offer some protection in respect of matrimonial assets, such as the matrimonial home, but the level of protection might be less than that given to non matrimonial assets.

10. Do Prenuptial Agreements need to be fair?

Yes. Where an Agreement is seen as appropriate, it is more likely to be enforced by a Court. 

Try out our prenuptial agreements calculator to see what you might save!

For further advice on prenuptial agreements, please call Howard Cohen on 0113 320 5000 or email howardc@winstonsolicitors.co.uk.  As a specialist solicitor on pre and post-nuptial agreements he will discuss your options on a no obligation basis.  

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