Pre-nup Agreements to become the norm?

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Regular readers of our blog might recall, I wrote last year about how Pre-Nuptial Agreements are now becoming more popular for couples planning their wedding.

In general terms, a Pre-Nup agreement sets out the assets which you already owned and which your spouse would have no claim on should you divorce. These assets may include property, cash or other financial resources, an anticipated inheritance or even a pet – the list is endless!

I thought I would revisit this topic in light of a recent survey which suggests that one in ten married people in the UK wish they’d had a Pre-Nup in place before they were married.

That might not sound much until you consider that, according to statistics, there were just over 300,000 marriages in the UK in 2014.

Tying the two statistics together might then suggest that 30,000 of those marriages have one party who wishes they had a Pre-Nup in place!

Whilst the law does not currently recognise prenuptial agreements as legally binding, the Law Commission (the body tasked with keeping laws under review) has recommended that this be changed, though, until this happens, there is no absolute guarantee they will be upheld if challenged.

However, the Supreme Court ruling in the case of Radmacher v Granatino significantly strengthened the weight of Pre-Nups, saying they were likely to be upheld if they were not considered unfair.

Agreements will be examined on a case-by-case basis with the courts more likely to take them into account – seeing it as evidence of the parties’ intentions - when ordering a division of assets on divorce, unless there is good reason to disregard it

 

  • More general points the court will likely consider include
  • Have the parties had independent legal advice?
  • Have they entered the Pre-Nup of their own free will and do they understand it?
  • Did both parties give full disclosure of their assets?


So, a Pre-Nup agreement might help you avoid bitter disputes and high legal costs. Whilst the idea of arranging one may sound ‘unromantic’, pre-nups can be a useful way of actually reducing the tension when couples split by limiting the issues to argue over.

If you are considering a pre-nup, or would like advice on whether to make one, please call me to arrange an appointment.



Regards

Helen

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