Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial Agreements
 Shakeela Bi
Legally reviewed by: Shakeela Bi Updated:

Prenuptial agreements – also known as ‘prenups’ – are legal documents that outline exactly what will happen to your assets and children if you get divorced. Our experienced divorce solicitors can help make sure you and your partner are well protected for the future.

How a Prenuptial Agreement Can Benefit You

There are several reasons that a prenuptial agreement could be beneficial, including when:

  • One of you has specific personal assets that they wish to protect, such as inherited wealth or a business
  • You have children from a previous relationship or marriage
  • One of you thinks they might come into wealth after marriage
  • You have come to the UK from a country where pre-nuptial agreements are commonplace

The Supreme Court has decided that equal weight should be given to the terms of a pre-nuptial agreement, as long as:

  • Each party freely entered into the agreement
  • Both parties fully understood the terms of the agreement at the time
  • It would be fair in the circumstances of the case to uphold it

Following the Supreme Court decision, the Law Commission then took this change one step further by drafting the Nuptial Agreements Bill to reform the existing UK law. Prenuptial agreements are now legally binding, reducing the court’s power to make financial orders on a divorcing couple.

There are several benefits of having a prenuptial agreement, including:

  • Less stress
  • Transparency
  • Compensation
  • Potential to save money
  • Protecting assets
  • Debt protection
  • Protection of business partners

Making a Prenuptial Agreement Legally Binding

For a prenuptial agreement to be legally binding, it needs to be drafted in the proper format and in a certain way. Your document should meet the following requirements:

  • It has to meet both your financial needs and those of any children you have
  • It must be validly executed as a deed
  • It must have been made more than 28 days before your wedding or civil partnership ceremony
  • Both of you must receive financial disclosure about your partner’s financial situation before you sign
  • Both of you must receive legal advice at the time you sign

We can help you throughout the process of drafting and finalising a prenuptial agreement.

For a consultation, call the experienced family lawyers at AWH Solicitors on 0800 999 2220 or request a call back online today and we will call you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a prenuptial agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that you set up with your partner before (or sometimes after) you get married to outline in detail what will happen to your assets and your children if you were to get divorced.

Setting up a prenuptial agreement is recommendable for any couple as you never know what might happen down the line. Prenuptial agreements can save you, your partner and your children a lot of unnecessary stress and upset.

Family law solicitors at AWH can assess your situation and offer you tailored advice. We are here to help you set up your pre or post nuptial agreement when you are ready to do so.

Are prenuptial agreements binding in the UK?

This may surprise some people, but yes they are.

Many may feel prenuptial agreements aren't worth writing up as in the past, courts in England and Wales were hostile towards prenuptial agreements, generally dismissing these completely at the time of divorce.

However this changed in 2010 when the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Radmacher v Granatino that the prenuptial agreement should be taken into account.

Prenuptial agreements are now legally binding in the UK as long as:

  • Each party freely entered into the agreement
  • Both parties fully understood the terms of the agreement at the time
  • It would be fair in the circumstances of the case to uphold it

What should a prenuptial agreement include?

In your prenuptial agreement you would include a list of your and your partner's assets and how these will be divided if you were to divorce later down the line.

This allows partners to ring fence specific assets that are important to them, for example family heirlooms, business assets or property.

Our family law solicitors can help you assess the benefits of a prenuptial agreement in your specific situation.