1- What is a pre-nuptial agreement?
A prenuptiual agreement is a formal agreement between two parties prior to their marriage setting out the ownership of their belongings. This is a provision for the spilt of a couples assets in the event of a divorce.
2- Why get a pre- nuptial agreement?
Pre-nups can give a measure of certainty and is a means of protecting pre-marriage assets, inheritance and existing family belongings. This could be particularly beneficial especially if someone is on their second or third marriage. Money also is a very emotive topic in marriages especially if you have different ideas on spending and saving or came to the marriage with different wealth; the prenuptial agreement therefore allows some clarity.
3- Are prenuptial agreements legally binding?
Prenuptial agreements are not absolutely binding, however, following the precedent set out in the 2010 case of Radmacher v. Granatino, prenuptial agreements are afforded heavy weighting within the UK family court unless it can be seen as unfair. Therefore the courts will endeavour to upheld them in most circumstances.
4- Why might a prenuptial agreement be departed from?
There are several reasons why the court might decide to depart from a prenuptial agreement; these include factors such as duress, undue influence and lack of material disclosure. There may have also been a big change in the circumstances since the pre-nup was made, such a disability or children. The court will weigh all of this up before deciding whether the prenuptial agreement is binding.
5- Reasons for the enforceability of pre-nuptial agreements
It has been seen in recent times that public policy has changed and that marriage isn’t always for life anymore. Prenuptial agreements therefore allow more certainty when entering a marriage that the assets would be split as the couple first envisaged when they got married, if they do end up divorcing. It also encourages the idea of marriage as people aren’t scared to enter into a marriage when they have the knowledge they will be protected. The certainty of having a prenuptial agreement also means less litigation in the event of a divorce which saves money, time and stress.
This article is created by a Paul Robinson Solicitors LLP “Brand Ambassador” who are students and unqualified. The article provides their views on the topic and does not necessarily deal with every important topic or cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not designed to provide legal or other advice and nor does it necessarily reflect the views of this firm.