Pre-nuptial Agreements

Pre-nuptial Agreements are becoming more and more popular, not only due to case law making them increasingly compelling and reliable but also because many couples’ circumstances cause them to be necessary with a view to protecting the past.

Looking into creating a pre-nuptial agreement now seems to be on the list of things to organise just prior to getting married. This is the case due to the vast number of people who, for example, own property or have benefited from inheritance before getting married and even before meeting their fiancé. One party for example may have purchased a property with their mother as an investment in early adulthood, they did not know the person they are now set to marry and therefore that person contributed nothing towards the deposit or subsequently. Such property therefore should be protected from argument and contention as to the other party’s right to a share of it on dissolution of the marriage.

It is a difficult subject to broach at the happiest time in a couple’s life but it can often alleviate the stress and add a sense of relief in providing for the future. It helps lessen the potential animosity that can come from receiving future inheritance or funds from the sale of a family property during the marriage but most importantly eases the arguments upon any separation or dissolution of the relationship.

It seems Pre-nuptial agreements are for the realistic and sensible as opposed to the pessimistic and negative!

Whilst they are not yet ‘legally binding’ they are compelling, and they form one of the key considerations within divorce proceedings. They have come so far that if they have been entered into with the benefit of independent legal advice, full financial disclosure, in good time and without any undue influence or coercion, they will be difficult to overturn.

If the Law Commission gets its way and its recommendations are followed then ‘qualifying nuptial agreements’ will indeed become enforceable so long as the parties’ needs and those of the children are met.