On preparing for your wedding a pre nuptial agreement is not likely to feature anywhere in your to do list. However, amidst all the excitement it is important to remember marriage is a financial contract as well as an emotional union with your partner and so it is a worth while exercise seeking advice from an experienced family solicitor in advance.
Think of a pre nuptial agreement as an insurance policy, a document invested in by you and your intended spouse to provide protection and reduce the financial impact to you both in the event of a separation.
Pre nuptial agreements were previously considered “contrary to public policy” as any form of pre-meditated agreement seemingly only looked towards the end of the marriage. However in 2010 the Supreme Court expelled this out dated presumption in the case of Radmacher –v- Granatino. The Supreme Court ruled “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 the agreement”.
Although this ruling does not mean pre nuptial agreements are now legally binding in the UK, rather, if they are entered into correctly and the terms have been given careful consideration, they can be persuasive to the Court and could carry weight in any future divorce application.
If you are thinking of investing in a pre nuptial agreement it is important to seek advice at an early stage from an experienced family solicitor. Consideration should be given to assets owned by you and your intended spouse before your marriage, any joint property purchased or to be purchased, what arrangements should be made for the financial support of any children you may have in the future and what is to be done with any inherited wealth.
For advice on reaching a pre nuptial agreement with your spouse please contact our experienced family law department.