Insights - Valentines Day pre-nups

Engaged? Have you considered drafting a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?


Valentines Day is upon us and, whilst many may feel that the perfect gift for their valentine is an engagement ring, have you considered whether a Pre Nuptial Agreement might be right for you?

An engagement at any time of the year is an exciting time; discussing venues, wedding cake and honeymoon destinations. Talk of financial matters and how you would deal with your assets in the event of your separation can seem very...well...unromantic, but it may be necessary.

What is a Pre Nup?
Many people still believe that Pre Nups are reserved for the rich and famous. This isn’t the case, and whilst this may well be a difficult topic to broach, you may need to consider entering into such an agreement if:-

  • You have pre-acquired wealth.
  • You own your own business.
  • You anticipate a sizeable inheritance one day in the future.
  • You or your partner has significant debts.
  • This is a second marriage.

The purpose of a Pre Nup is to agree at the outset of the marriage how finances would be divided in the unlikely event of separation or divorce. It is widely considered to be a sensible step as such agreements can assist in alleviating some of the stresses associated with resolving finances in the event of a relationship breakdown.

Are they worth the paper they’re written on?
It is important to remember that in England and Wales Pre Nups are not legally binding. However, such an agreement will be given weight in the event of a separation or divorce if:-

  • Each party has received independent legal advice regarding the terms of the agreement;
  • There is transparency between the parties (it is best practice to obtain full disclosure of each parties assets prior to completion of the agreement);
  • The document is freely entered into (no pressure can be placed on one party to enter such an agreement);
  • The document is periodically reviewed and amended if required, for example upon the birth of a child.

Is it for me?
There is no “one size fits all” approach to drafting Pre Nuptial Agreements. Pre Nups should be signed no later than 6 weeks before the wedding, so it is essential to seek legal advice at an early stage.

If you are considering proposing to your partner, or are newly engaged and wish to discuss Pre Nuptial Agreements further, please do not hesitate to contact our Family Team on (0191) 384 2441.

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