As prenuptial agreements are becoming more common, here are some things you should consider if you’re going to draw one up.
Preparing for marriage is a very happy time for any couple. They are planning a long and happy life together, so don’t want to even think that things might fall apart later. But with up to half of marriages in the UK ending in divorce nowadays, a sensible couple should give serious consideration about what should happen should their forthcoming marriage suffer that unfortunate fate. In short, they shouldn’t go into marriage without first having made a prenuptial agreement.
While the rocketing number of divorces have made prenups more common, a lot of people are not exactly sure what they are or how they could have one drawn up. A prenuptial agreement is a contract made between the couple before they actually marry. In this they agree how any assets should be divided should they get divorced. The prenup may also stipulate how the assets will be split if one of the couple dies. This means that provision can be made for any children brought into the marriage by one of parties.
So why is it so necessary to agree how you might divide any assets should you divorce? The division of assets following divorce is almost always contentious. This is particularly so if one of the spouses takes the larger percentage of assets into the marriage,and faces losing them at a divorce hearing. By taking out a prenup, he/she could protect themselves from losing their personal assets as well as having to pay potentially crippling maintenance to their former spouse.
It should be understood by both parties set to enter into marriage, that under UK law at present, British courts are not bound to accept a prenuptial agreement when making their ruling. But they may well take a prenup into account if one has been drawn up.
Because the status of prenuptial agreements in the UK is uncertain, if you are thinking about drawing one up then you should take cautious steps. Make sure it is signed no less than 21 days before the date of the wedding. Later than this and it could be argued that one of the couple had signed the agreement under duress, meaning that it is likely to be ignored in any divorce hearing. It is also advisable that your prenuptial agreement is drawn up by a specialist solicitor, making it all the more probable it will be accepted by the courts should the marriage end in divorce.
For advice on making a UK Prenuptial Agreement, contact Bonallack & Bishop, a firm of solicitors experienced in UK pre-nuptial agreements. Senior partner Tim Bishop has grown the firm by 1000% in 13 years and is responsible for all major strategic decisions. He plans to expand further, seeing himself as a businessman who owns a law firm.