A couple can enter into a formal agreement before a marriage of civil partnership. This is known as a prenuptial agreement and is a document which sets out how the couple’s assets will be divided should they separate or get a divorce.
The most common need of a prenuptial agreements is when one partner has a substantial wealth prior to the marriage and wishes to protect their wealth in the event of the marriage failing.
As an example, in some cases, a couple will sign a prenuptial agreement to protect existing family assets which they intend to pass on to any children. If a family has substantial wealth, and one partner has an expectation of inheriting that wealth during the marriage, they may plan to protect that wealth by making a prenuptial agreement.
Prenuptial agreements are not legally binding in the England and Wales at present, however that does not mean that they are of no use.
A judge is likely to take a prenuptial agreement into account when overseeing a case and is likely to uphold it, as long as certain safeguards have been met.
Recent cases show that prenuptial agreements are being upheld in many instances. For an agreement to be upheld, the following safeguards should be met:
If you would like to discuss an issue with one of our family law solicitors, please contact us and one of our specialist team will be happy to advise you.