For Richer, For Poorer: Do We Need A Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

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For Richer, For Poorer: Do We Need A Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

It’s fair to say that pre-nuptial agreements very much split opinion. To some, they’re unromantic; to others, they’re a practical safeguard. Essentially, a pre-nuptial agreement is a document signed before a couple marries, typically identifying what happens to their money, property, and possessions if they split up.

They’re not just for celebrities. Many people are now getting married later in life; careers and assets have already been built up and there may be a desire to protect them.

Emma Davison, Head of Private Family Law at Ison Harrison, takes a look at some of the basic considerations that need to be borne in mind at the outset:-

A pre-nuptial agreement can provide a framework in the event of a relationship breakdown, affording a level of certainty and peace of mind;

They can be particularly useful if business assets exist, or inherited money needs to be considered;

  • A court is not obliged to follow a pre-nuptial agreement (for example, if it agrees that it is unfair) but it will be taken into account and used as a point of reference for the division of assets;
  • Legal advice before signing is essential, as you will be expected to be bound by its contents unless you can show that it is inherently unfair;
  • A pre-nuptial agreement needs expert drafting. A solicitor will need to take detailed instructions, across a number of meetings, in order to create a bespoke document. There is no such thing as a ‘standard’ pre-nuptial agreement.

For advice on any of the issues raised within this article, or if you would like to go ahead with a pre-nuptial agreement, please contact Emma on 0113 284 5000 to arrange an appointment.

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