Prenuptial Agreements – Protecting your assets
There is a common misconception that prenuptial agreements are only for the famous or who have a vast amount wealth. In fact, this is not the case. A prenuptial agreement can be made by anyone with an asset they wish to protect. Whilst not romantic, it can remove much pre-wedding stress and anxiety.
What is a prenuptial agreement
A Prenuptial agreement is a contract that yourself and your partner can enter into prior to marriage. It is a legal document that organises the division of assets upon circumstances such as divorce or death. Prenuptial agreements are also available for civil partnerships.
When to make one
A prenuptial agreement can only be made prior to an exchange of vows. Additionally, there are time requirements that must be met in order to make a prenuptial agreement. It must be made a minimum of 28 days prior to the wedding to be valid therefore early thought and preparation is key. If you did wish to make such agreement following marriage, this is possible and known as a ‘postnuptial agreement’.
Why make one
A prenuptial agreement allows you to enter into an agreement to outline what will happen to current and future assets in the event of divorce or death. There are various reasons why someone may decide to enter into a prenuptial agreement the most common being : –
- To protect a current asset For example you may have money, pensions and property
- Future wealth/success – For example If you are just starting out with a new business venture
- Disparity in wealth – For example there is a difference in assets between parties upon entering a marriage
- Future inheritance – For example you may wish for this money to pass to a child from a previous relationship
- Debt – for example protection against future spousal debts
- Protecting a Business – for example to ensure it can continue to run
How much weight does a prenuptial agreement carry
Whilst a UK court does not have to be bound by the terms of a prenuptial agreement, they are increasingly being considered and upheld. If an agreement is later contested the court will review the agreement and generally will look at the following factors:
- Did both parties enter into the agreement freely without duress?
- Did both parties understand the terms?
- Did both parties understand the other’s financial circumstances when entering into the agreement?
- If the agreement is fair and reasonable in the circumstances of the case
- Did the parties have legal advice?
Interested in making a prenuptial agreement
Our family department are experienced in dealing with prenuptial agreements, if you are interested in making a prenuptial agreement or wish for any additional information, please contact the us on 01325 281111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.