Although it might seem unromantic to sign a prenuptial agreement before getting married, this is far from the truth. Prenuptial agreements are a realistic way to begin a marriage with a shared understanding of openness and honesty, even with divorce rates seeing a slight decrease in recent years.
Spending the time to decide with your significant other what should happen to assets in the case that your marriage fails, will lessen unpredictability and strain in your relationship, and if the worst should happen, a prenuptial agreement can be a crucial tool to have to hand during divorce agreements. At Van Eaton Solicitors, we can guide you through the prenuptial agreement process in addition to offering professional counsel and mediation if your marriage dissolves.
What is the Definition of a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement, also known as a prenup, is a contract made between two people before they get married. It lists who owns what and outlines what will take place to these assets should the marriage fail and result in divorce. In basic terms, a prenup specifies “who gets what,” but there are many factors to take into account before deciding to sign one, and there are many myths about them.
Prenuptial agreements are frequently thought of as the domain of very wealthy people, such as business executives and famous people, who want to safeguard their assets from a future spouse who is less wealthy. In reality, anyone can obtain a prenup, and there are several reasons to think about doing so before getting married.
What Does a Prenuptial Agreement Cover?
Prenuptial agreements can address a wide range of topics. Your solicitor will give you advice on what information to include when creating an agreement. The following is just one example but not the only one that applies:
Property: A prenuptial agreement should address the assets that each spouse will bring to the union, as well as the disposition of the home in the event of a divorce.
Money: A prenuptial agreement should include provisions for both savings and other funds kept in joint accounts as well as those held separately, including any investments.
Debts: In addition to securing each partner’s current assets, a prenup should also protect from debt liability if one spouse incurs debt.
Inheritance: A prenuptial agreement can be used to circle assets one partner plans to leave as an inheritance as well as to safeguard the anticipated future wealth either spouse may acquire as an inheritance beneficiary.
Children: If the current marriage disintegrates, a prenuptial agreement can specify what rights children from a previous marriage have to any property or assets.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Prenuptial Agreements
It should be evident by now that deciding to enter into a prenuptial agreement before getting married requires careful thought. The benefits of doing this include the strong foundation that a contract offers for a marriage: sharing the specifics of your assets with your spouse and carefully considering how these assets should be handled in the unfortunate event that your marriage dissolves, fosters a sense of transparency and security that is likely to be advantageous to your relationship moving forward.
However, there is no way to be certain that a UK Court will uphold the agreement , that you and your spouse make today, years or decades from now, so that sense of security might just be an illusion. However, as a rule , a UK court will likely give some weight to the prenup, either in its entirety or to the intention of the parties , at the time that the prenup was drawn up.
Perhaps ring-fencing property or assets that were considered to be excluded from the matrimonial pot.
This raises the issue of whether it is even worthwhile to invest time and money in a prenuptial agreement. If you aren’t sure, it’s important to keep in mind that prenuptial agreements are increasingly being upheld in court as long as they are properly drafted, don’t unfairly favour one party, and don’t conflict with the Matrimonial Causes Act.
Do I Require a Solicitor to Compose a Prenuptial Agreement?
Whether each party received independent legal counsel before signing the prenuptial agreement is a crucial factor that could determine whether it is upheld or dismissed by the Court. Due to this, it is crucial that a solicitor is involved in the creation of your prenuptial agreement and that both parties receive independent legal advice from different solicitors.
It will be simpler to demonstrate other crucial elements that the Court will consider when deciding whether a prenuptial agreement is valid, such as whether both parties fully disclosed their assets and whether either party was subjected to extreme pressure or dishonesty at the time the prenup was signed, with the help of a lawyer.
A qualified litigation solicitor such as Van Eaton Solicitors in London should be consulted as soon as possible if you need assistance creating your prenuptial agreement and you need it to be legally binding. If you would like advice, please get in touch with us today by calling 0208 769 6739. Alternatively, you can fill out our online contact form here.