What is a Prenup?
A prenuptial agreement, or ‘prenup’, is a legal agreement between a couple signed before marriage. The purpose is to detail all pre-marital possessions, debts and assets belonging to each party and can specify what is to happen to those during the marriage, and, more commonly, upon its breakdown. It is similarly available if you are entering a civil partnership in the form of a preregistration agreement.
Couples may view a prenup as a lack of trust; if the marriage is to last forever, then why have such an agreement? However, we believe that one can never be too careful, and it is as important to plan for the unlikely as it is the inevitable.
Without a prenup upon divorce, all assets, debts and belongings must be carefully sorted through to ascertain what are marital assets and debts. Without this guiding document, arguments may ensue as to what is or is not marital, which can become expensive, stressful, and time consuming.
The beauty of a prenup is that it is tailored to suit the needs of both parties; there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. It can protect inheritance due to one party, protect a business interest, protect one party from debt belonging to another, or make assurances to any children to be born or who are already born. The list goes on. The agreement can even be enforced after death to protect your estate.
Prenuptial agreements have been questioned as to their reliability. Whilst there is no formal legislation in place, there is solid case law that has been relied upon to support the binding nature of the agreement. However, the court will always have discretion to move away from the terms agreed if they are unfair, or if the situation requires a different approach depending upon the merits and circumstances of the case.
It is important that necessary steps are taken to ensure that the agreement has the punch it needs if it is ever to be relied upon, and this is where a legal professional can help you. Numerous factors will affect the binding nature of the agreement, including the date that the agreement was signed, whether both parties sought independent legal advice, and whether both parties engaged in full financial disclosure to receive the best possible legal advice.
Our experts at Everys will ensure that your needs are properly met, with the correct time, care, and attention devoted to guarantee that the agreement drafted is both effective and covers everything that needs to be covered.
Call a member of our Family team on 01823 337636 or email FamilyNewEnquiries@everys.co.uk to find out how we can help.