- Page Contents
- Are Prenuptial Agreements Legally Binding?
- Reasons For Prenuptial Agreements
- How Can We Help?
- How Much We Charge?
A prenuptial agreement (often known as prenup agreement) is a formal pre marital written agreement between two partners. The prenuptial agreement sets out ownership of all the belongings including money, assets and property and explains how these will be divided in the event of the breakdown of their marriage.
Want to enter into prenuptial agreement with your fiance(e) and want legal help and assistance for the same? Contact our expert team of family law solicitors in London, Manchester and Birmingham for fast, friendly, reliable and fixed fee legal services for your prenuptial agreement.
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Pre Nuptial Agreements are not legally binding in the UK but are considered to be pursuasive for the judge to exercise discretion in deciding the financial settlement by giving weight to the pre nupital agreement. Pre-Nups, Post Nups and Pre-civil registration agreements cannot exclude the authority of the Court when dealing with financial issues when a marriage or civil partnership irretrievably breaks down. When divorce arises, the court has discretionary powers to distribute assets as the Judge sees is in the best interest of the parties/children/individual circumstances. The prenuptial agreement which has been entered into fairly and after taking appropriate legal advice may have persuasive authority for the judge to exercise discretion and give weight to the same in distribution of assets.
In 2010 The UK Supreme Court recognised prenups for the first time in the now famous case of Radmacher v. Granatino. Following this ground-breaking case of Radmacher v. Granatino, prenuptial agreements are now afforded heavy evidential weight within the UK Family Court, unless considered to be unfair.
The case of Radmacher v. Granatino involved a German heiress called Katrin Radmacher and a French investment banker Nicolas Granatino, who had married in the UK in 1998. To help Ms. Radmacher protect her £106m fortune in the event of the marriage breaking down, the couple signed a prenuptial agreement which stated neither party would benefit financially from the other if the marriage ended.
The caveat is that while UK courts will recognise prenuptial agreements, they also still have the ultimate discretion to ignore any agreement reached if the agreement is deemed to be unfair to any children of the marriage.
If you are not interested in sharing your assets equally with your partner on the breakdown of marriage then it would be in your best interests to enter into a pre nup or post nup agreement even if the agreement is not upheld by the Court.
Money can be an extremely emotive topic in a relationship, especially if you have different attitudes towards spending and saving. A prenuptial agreement provides a clear agreement that can lead to peace of mind for both parties.
The most common reasons for entering into prenuptial agreement may include the follwoing:
- Assets: There are assets and/or property that would be hard to split 50/50;
- Children: You, and/or your partner, have children from a previous relationship and want to ensure certain assets are reserved for them and protect their inheritance rights;
- Inherited money or assets: You want to protect inherited money or assets;
- Savings or exptected future inheritence: You want to safeguard substantial savings or expected future inheritance;
- Fairness: You want financial issues to be resolved fairly in the event of a marriage breakdown, especially if you’ve suffered unfairness in divorce courts previously;
- Business: Either party own a business which they’d like to retain control of in the event of marriage breaking down;
- Debt: If your partner has outstanding debt, a prenuptial agreement with a ‘debt clause’ can protect you from being liable for that debt.
Our team of family law solicitors will prepare a prenuptial agreement:
- tailored to you and your partner's personal circumstances;
- containing an inventory of each partner's assets;
- giving details of how the assets will be distributed in the event of breakdown of marriage;
- (if required) giving details of any post-divorce financial arrangements for children particularly where one or both partners have children from previous relationships;
- giving independent legal advice.
We’ve put together a checklist to help your prenuptial agreement have the best chance of being upheld in divorce court:
- To comply with UK law, the pre-nup must be drawn up by a qualified solicitor;
- Both parties must have separate solicitors to avoid any claim of conflict of interest;
- Both parties must fully understand the agreement and voluntarily agree to it;
- Both solicitors must confirm it was entered into freely and knowingly;
- The prenuptial agreement should be signed at least 21 days before the marriage;
- All assets and property must be fully disclosed by both parties.
- Our team of family law solicitors will charge a fee from £600 + VAT to £1,000 + VAT for preparing and advising in relation to a prenuptial agreement.