Things to Know about UK Prenuptial Agreements

British wedding season will begin in earnest when spring next arrives. In the UK we spend around £10 billion on weddings every year. Newlyweds are the biggest spenders, usually parting with a little more than £ 36,000, including everything from the engagement to the honeymoon.

And it’s not just the choice of wedding venues that are becoming less ‘traditional’. Recent years have seen great changes in attitude towards their finances. No longer just for celebrities, the number of couples deciding ‘to get a prenuptial agreement’ as part of their wedding checklist is increasing.

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1) What is a prenuptial agreement?

A prenuptial agreement (also known as a pre-nup) is a formal written agreement between the two partners before their wedding.

It establishes ownership of all their belongings (including cash, assets and property) and explains how it will be divided in case of their marriage breakdown.

2) Are pre-nups legally recognized in the UK?

British courts do recognize these agreements, but they also retain the discretion to waive any aspect of a pre-or postnuptial agreement, particularly if it is considered unfair to any child of the marriage.

3) Why get a prenup?

Money can be a very emotional topic in a relationship, especially if you have a different attitude towards spending and saving. An agreement of this nature gives clear instructions that can provide great peace of mind for both parties.

You might consider a prenuptial agreement for the following reasons:

There are assets and / or property that would be difficult to split 50/50

You and / or your spouse have children from a previous relationship and want to make sure certain assets are allocated to them and their inheritance rights are protected. People make wills for the same reason.

You want to protect your money or legacy assets

You want to protect savings or expected future inheritances

You want some say in how financial issues will be resolved in terms of divorce (especially if you have suffered in previous divorce court)

One of the parties has a business that they want to maintain control of

If your spouse has a debt, with a prenuptial agreement you can protect you from being liable for your partner’s debt.

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Checklist for your prenup

There are a number of factors that need to be in place when you enter into a prenuptial agreement.

This is because, when considering if an agreement is fair and must be upheld, the court will look at things like whether the two sides understand correctly and if they had enough time to review before signing.

We have compiled a list to help your prenup have the best chance to be upheld in court divorce:

To comply with UK law, the pre-nup should be prepared by a qualified solicitor. For Solicitors Huddersfield, visit https://bridgelawsolicitors.co.uk/services-for-individuals/family-law/holmfirth-huddersfield-family/  

Both sides must have a separate attorney to avoid claims of conflict of interest

Both sides must understand the agreement and voluntarily agree to it

Both lawyers have to confirm it entered into freely and consciously

Prenuptial agreements must be signed no later than 21 days before the wedding

Every asset and owned property need to be fully disclosed by both parties

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