A prenuptial is a formal agreement entered into by a couple before they get married. It secures what they have agreed will happen to any assets in the case of a divorce. Both parties can agree that the wealthier partner does not suffer a 50% loss of assets.
This is especially good to have if you have not been married long, or do not have any children. The court will make an assessment of the relative worth of the partners together in the marriage. Inherited wealth can be kept out of this. Interests of dependants and children can also be arranged. Any couple who are thinking about marriage or a civil partnership can have a pre-nup.
Once you have got married, a prenuptial agreement is possible, although it is better to be arranged before the marriage takes place. A pre-nup that takes place after marriage is known as a post-nuptial agreement. Pre-nups should not be rushed, and they should be arranged at least some weeks before a wedding ceremony. If not, corners can get cut and things missed out.
The validity of your pre-nup also can be challenged later on. If you have not left enough time to properly sort out a pre-nup, it would be a good idea, as in agreement with UK courts, to postpone a wedding in this case. This also makes the pre-nup more persuasive in case of a break up – the fact that the ceremony was postponed due to it says a lot.
Agreements can be amended after they have been made, as long as both parties agree to the alterations. It is not recommended that any ‘do it yourself’ pre-nup agreements are made, even after legal advice is sought. Each person’s situation needs to be personally and carefully considered, and there are many factors that need to be assessed so that your pre-nup can be enforced.
A qualified family lawyer should draw up your agreement that is specifically tailored to your requirements and needs. DIY agreements may be cheap and quick, but in the long run can be extremely costly! Get it right, and it could save millions of pounds. DIY agreements are dangerous, so stay away from them.
The cost of using a solicitor is minimal compared to the financial benefits and protections you receive from doing it properly, and the UK courts will not have mercy on make-shift agreements. The greater your wealth, the even greater importance there is on a professional and enforceable pre-nuptial agreement being drafted for you.
Faye Remnant is part of our Family Law team based in Loughborough; our Solicitors in Loughborough are experts in their fields and dedicated to quality client care. If you would like to find out more about our solicitors in Loughborough please contact us.
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