Pre-nups can be an expression of love

Thrings Family Law Pre-nups

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, many couples will no doubt be thinking of tying the knot – but while it sounds unromantic, planning through a Pre-Nuptial Agreement can save problems and costs later on.

We now see that couples are marrying at an older age meaning that they are likely to have progressed further in their careers and amassed property, pension or other personal assets, or indeed retired. These are all important factors when considering whether or not you would like to have these assets ring-fenced following a marriage.

Forward thinking on financial arrangements is also particularly useful where the bank of Mum and Dad have been involved with the couple, or where it is a second or subsequent marriage.

The types of pre-acquired assets that you may consider ring-fencing in a pre-nuptial agreement are:

  • Property
  • Business
  • Inheritance (whether received or likely to be received)
  • Interest in family trusts
  • Investments
  • Jewellery or artwork

Although pre and post-nuptial agreements are not yet legally binding in this country, the case of Radmacher v Granatino was a landmark ruling where the courts confirmed that pre and post-nuptial agreement would be given ‘decisive weight’ in the event of a divorce.

Since this landmark case, there have been proposed changes to the law to make pre and post-nuptial agreements legal in the UK. It seems that it is only a matter of time before they do become part of English law.

When you are planning a wedding, at whatever stage in your life, it is never nice to think that it might not end happily ever after, but what a pre or post-nuptial agreement does allow is for couples to have a choice over their future and give them greater certainty and control over a financial settlement if the worst should happen.

There are currently special procedural rules about how a pre or post-nuptial agreement should be entered into and if those rules are not followed, it can discredit the whole agreement. It is therefore important to seek comprehensive legal advice from a specialist.

Thrings’ Family Law team is highly experienced in navigating the sensitivities around financial planning at home and can assist in resolving potential difficulties and provide you with legal advice on all aspects of your relationship.

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