22 May, 2023
It may not be the most romantic consideration when you're in the process of planning a wedding, but many couples want to create certainty as to what will happen with their assets should they divorce.
Here, one of our Associate Solicitors, Sarah Robson, looks at the benefits of having such an agreement.
A pre-marital agreement, also known as a pre-nuptial agreement (pre-nup) is a legal document drawn up by a couple before their marriage to set out how their assets will be divided should they divorce. They are most commonly used where one party to the marriage has greater assets than the other party and seeks to protect those assets should the marriage break down. With an estimated 42% of marriages ending in divorce it's well worth considering. A pre-nup can assist with:
If you have significant assets acquired prior to your relationship and marriage there is no guarantee that these will be protected on divorce, due to the established principles in family law of sharing and meeting "needs". If you have a significant pension that has been accrued prior to the marriage you may wish to protect this. Again in the absence of a pre-nup your pre-marital pension would be at risk should you divorce.
If you are a shareholder in a limited company, established well before the marriage, you may seek to protect this and agree that this will not be considered a "marital asset" on divorce.
A pre-nup needs to be tailored to your individual circumstances but will often include:
Whilst pre-nups are not legally binding in the UK they are becoming more accepted by the courts when couples divorce. To ensure your agreement will be followed by the Courts there are certain aspects that need to be followed:
Pre-nups are not just for the wealthy. If you want to create certainty as to how your assets will be divided on divorce then a pre-nup can achieve this. Certainly if you have any pre acquired assets that you wish to protect in the event of a divorce then a pre-nup is required. For more information on pre-nuptial agreements click here. To speak to a solicitor, get in touch on the details below.
For more information contact Sarah Robson in our Family/Divorce department via email or phone on 0333 207 1130. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.
Learn more about our Family/Divorce department here