Is it worth getting a prenup?

Alison Articles

Prenuptial agreements are pretty common in countries like the USA, Germany and France. However, until recently, they were relatively rare in the UK. Some see them as cynical and unromantic – as if saying divorce is inevitable – others consider them a declaration that they’re marrying only for love. Whatever your opinion, with around two fifths of all UK marriages ending in divorce, it’s worth knowing the facts about prenups.

Legal standing

Before October 2010, prenuptial agreements had no real legal standing in the UK. This all changed following a landmark Supreme Court case where eight out of nine judges ruled that a prenuptial agreement between German heiress Katrin Radmacher and her French ex-husband, Nicolas Granatino, was enforceable, contradicting an earlier high court judgement.

With this ruling, the Supreme Court judges set a precedent making it more likely a court will uphold the terms of a properly made prenuptial agreement.

Limitations

For a prenup to carry any weight in court, it needs to satisfy the following conditions:

●It should be written by a qualified solicitor to make sure it complies with UK law.

●Both parties must enter into the agreement willingly and with a full understanding of its details. To ensure this, it is essential that both parties take advice from different solicitors to help avoid claims either of them was pushed into the agreement or did not have it fully explained to them.

●The prenup must be fair to both parties as significant unfairness to either party in the agreement is grounds for a court to disregard it. Again, the best way to ensure this is to have separate solicitors look over the agreement for each party.

●Before signing the agreement, both parties must fully disclose all of their assets, including properties.

●The prenup must be signed at least 28 days before the marriage takes places. This helps prevent claims the process was rushed or that either signee found themselves under pressure to sign to keep the wedding on track. 

If you’re looking for a family solicitors in Bristol to draw up a prenuptial agreement, or examine one your partner has had drawn up, please contact Anne Thistlethwaite or Alison Dukes on 0117 9621460. Alternatively, email annethistlethwaite@amdsolicitors.com or alisondukes@amdsolicitors.com.

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