Getting married is an exciting time for you and your family and friends – and splitting up should be the furthest thing from anyone’s mind. But some people can have complicated marriages, especially regarding financial matters. Should the marriage end for any reason, one way to make the process smoother is to have a prenuptial agreement in place. This document can help protect your assets and secure them for the future. Prenuptial agreement solicitors like Osbourne Pinner can help you draft an enforceable agreement and provide expert advice on all aspects of the process.
Prenuptial agreements aren’t legally binding in the UK, but they can be respected and enforceable by a court if they meet specific requirements. To meet these requirements, the prenuptial agreement must:
If a prenuptial agreement meets these requirements, it may be taken into consideration by a court in the event of a divorce or separation. However, because of a prenup’s non-legally binding status, a court has the discretion to override the terms of the agreement if it deems it not fair or reasonable in the circumstances.
It is important to note that prenuptial agreements are not typically enforceable in the UK in cases involving children. A court will always consider the children’s best interests in determining financial arrangements or a child arrangement order in the event of a divorce.
If you’re considering a prenuptial agreement, working with a divorce solicitor is essential to ensure it’s as watertight as possible and meets all the necessary requirements. Here are some steps you can take to draw up a prenuptial agreement to get started:
When you’ve agreed on the principle of having a prenuptial agreement, sought independent legal advice, and gathered all the necessary financial documents and information, you’ll need to see a divorce solicitor to get your prenup drafted legally. Here’s a breakdown of what happens during this process:
Your solicitor will work with you to draft the prenup, accounting for your financial circumstances and any specific concerns or requests you may have.
Once the draft agreement has been prepared, you and your partner should review it carefully and discuss any changes or modifications that may be needed. Your solicitors can help with this process, so the final agreement is correct.
Once both parties agree on the exact terms, you’ll need to sign it before witnesses and keep a copy for your records.
Osbourne Pinner can offer you a competitive fee for the preparation of your prenuptial agreement and its accompanying schedule of assets, including:
In any divorce, a prenuptial agreement can cover many issues, usually surrounding money and financial matters. As expert divorce solicitors, the Osbourne Pinner legal team can advise you on what’s suitable or necessary to include in your prenup, which can include:
A prenuptial agreement should cover all property each partner brings into the marriage. It will also cover what happens to the family home in the divorce.
Any money, stocks, shares, or investments held independently by each party and any cash or savings held jointly should have full disclosure and be accountable in any prenup agreement.
Your prenuptial agreement will do the job of protecting the existing assets of each partner independently. But it also protects you from any liability of debt accrued by your partner after divorce.
The prenup can include a provision to ring-fence certain assets you or your partner want to pass onto children or relatives as an inheritance. A prenuptial agreement can also protect any assets, financial or otherwise, you might gain in the future as a beneficiary.
What a prenup cannot do is prejudice the interests of any children in your family. So it’s usual to factor in a provision for an agreement review if or when you have children. This provision will ensure their needs can be considered and assessed at that time, with possible changes made to any expectations of the adults, such as the inclusion of a child arrangement order.
In a divorce, should the court need to step in on financial arrangements, it will always give thought to the children involved first. If the court considers any agreement between the adults that might adversely affect their children, such as by restricting any lifestyle expectations, it’s likely to believe it unfair to uphold the agreement in the circumstances. It’s not possible to contract out of giving financial support to or for a child.
In 2010 the Supreme Court gave the following guidance: “The court should give effect to a nuptial agreement that is freely entered into by each party with a full appreciation of its implications unless, in the circumstances prevailing, it would not be fair to hold the parties to their agreement.”
Creating a prenuptial agreement can be complex and may require lengthy negotiations. If a prenup is a way forward, starting the process well before your wedding is advisable to ensure the agreement is completed promptly – and our legal team can help you.
As professional divorce solicitors, the team at Osbourne Pinner are experts in advising, drafting, and negotiating prenuptial agreements in the UK. Working on agreements of all sizes, including those for high net worth divorce clients, we can advise you on all your options and get the prenup that suits you.