Prenuptial agreements are becoming increasingly popular in the UK, and are now widely recognised by the courts as long as the document is deemed valid. In this article we explore the phenomenon in more detail, helping you decide whether or not you could benefit from a prenuptial agreement.
What is a prenuptial agreement?
A prenuptial agreement, or prenup, it a document setting out what will happen to your assets should your marriage breakdown in the future. This allows each party to stipulate what should be kept out of the ‘matrimonial pot’, including property, possessions and finances. Without a prenup in place, it will be up to the courts to decide how a couple’s wealth must be divided. Typically this will involve a 50:50 split, regardless of who originally owned (or earned) a particular asset.
Why get a prenuptial agreement?
Prenups are no longer something reserved for the rich and famous. Nowadays, ordinary men and women are choosing to enter into a prenuptial agreement so as to protect their assets from the uncertainty of divorce proceedings. Although this may seem unromantic, it is best to be pragmatic and safeguard your wealth from any future mishaps; otherwise everything you have collated over the years could be taken away from you.
This is because if a divorcing couple cannot reach an agreement on how to divide their assets, it will be left to the court to dictate a settlement. Nevertheless, having a court determine the division of assets can be particularly dangerous, as an ex-partner could potentially be awarded half of everything. Divorce settlements can, therefore, be extremely destructive for the wealthier party, as he/she could stand to lose a considerable sum of money. It may even be necessary to sell certain stocks, shares and property in order to pay the settlement, thereby marking a significant decimation of their assets. A prenuptial agreement is the only way to prevent this from happening.
How do you get a prenuptial agreement?
Anyone who is about to enter into a marriage or civil partnership can take out a prenuptial agreement. If you do wish to do so, you and your partner must each seek legal advice from separate family lawyers well in advance of your wedding date. Should you choose to continue after speaking with a legal expert, your solicitors will negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement. Once signed, the agreement becomes official and can be enforced in a court of law.
Would you like professional advice on prenuptial agreements?
If you would like further information on prenuptial agreements, you need to speak to a family lawyer who is experienced in this area of the law. Roskell Davies solicitors has a dedicated team of family solicitors whose professional skill and expertise will help you create a prenuptial agreement that will protect your best interests should your marriage ever end in divorce.
Call us on 0800 142 2901 or fill in a free online enquiry.