In England and Wales Prenuptial Agreements are not strictly binding. However, the Court has said that they “should give effect to a nuptial agreement that is freely entered into by each party with the full appreciation of its implications unless in the circumstances it would not be fair to hold the parties to an agreement”.
Prenuptial Agreements might be beneficial where, for example:
- One of you has greater capital or income than the other.
- One or other of you want to protect assets you had prior to the marriage; or
- One or both of you have children from previous relationship and you want to protect those assets for inheritance in the future.
A Prenuptial Agreement may be decisive in the event of a dispute dealt with the Court.
In order to approve prospect that the Court would uphold the Prenuptial Agreement, it is important to consider the following:
- Both of you will need to provide to the other full and frank financial disclosure.
- Both have received independent legal advice on the agreement and its effects.
- Make sure that the agreement is finalised in good time before the wedding or civil partnership. If assets are complex then more time will be needed and you may require other specialist advice for example from tax advisors or foreign lawyers.
- Neither party has experienced any undue pressure to reach an agreement.
- Are the terms of the agreement substantially fair and does it meet each of your basic needs.
Prenuptial Agreements give more certainty as to financial arrangements in the event of a divorce as long as the agreement is entered into following the suggested steps. However, we must remember that the Court always has jurisdiction in the event of divorce proceedings and they could overturn any Prenuptial Agreement.
If you are unsure whether a Prenuptial Agreement would help you then you should take legal advice.
If you need any help or advice with any matter relating to family or divorce proceedings, please contact Alexandra on 01869 252244.