6 Things To Know About Getting a Prenup – UK Guide
What Is a Prenup and Will It Legally Protect Me?
In the UK, a Prenuptial Agreement (‘Prenup’) is a written marriage contract entered into by two people before marriage. The prenup agreement sets out to the court how money and assets will be separated if the marriage ends in a divorce.
Many people see this as an unromantic step, especially as a Prenup must be entered into at least 28 days before saying ‘I Do’.
However, getting a prenup can help you avoid any nasty or drawn-out negotiations on money and assets should the marriage breakdown and end in a divorce.
In recent years, Prenups have become increasingly popular in England and Wales as people marry later in life than in previous generations.
It’s natural for people to want to protect their money and assets they have accumulated in their life before they enter into a marriage.
There are many things to consider before getting a prenuptial agreement, so we wanted to make things easier for you by covering the 6 most important things you should know.
1) Are Prenups Legally Binding In England and Wales?
Prenuptial agreements are not formally legally binding in England and Wales. They are, however, in Scotland and many other European countries.
The landmark ruling in the case of Radmacher v Granatino in 2010 has given Prenuptial Agreements more authority in the family courts.
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.
A judge in this case in 2010 enforced a Prenuptial Agreement that was signed over 10 years earlier.
This means that if a divorce settlement is disputed and you’ve got a Prenup in place, then a Judge should uphold the terms of your Prenup.
This is providing it has been professionally drafted by a solicitor and meets the other necessary criteria set out below.
2) Prenups Can Be Enforceable If They Meet This Criteria
A Judge will only enforce your Prenup if they are satisfied that a certain criterion is met, which are as follows:
- The agreement must be fair and reasonable.
- The agreement is not to prejudice any children.
- Both parties must have had independent legal advice.
- There should be full financial disclosure about the wider financial circumstances, such as any property, investments or savings.
- The agreement must be freely entered into at least 28 days before you get married to avoid claims that either party was rushed or pressured into signing it.
It’s important to stress that using a free template online will not suffice and may invalidate your agreement as specific legal clauses won’t be included.
You should try to discuss the agreement 3-6 months before entering into a Prenup to give both parties enough time to understand what the agreement means for both parties.
Questions About Prenuptial Agreements?
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3) A Prenup Can Include Any Assets You Have
Two Prenups are never the same as like divorce settlements they are tailored to your individual circumstances.
The agreement can include any assets you want, such as; (but not limited to)
- Business Assets
- Personal Belongings
Prenuptial agreements usually detail out how assets you own before entering into marriage are to be divided, however, it can include provisions for future assets such as inheritances.
A family law solicitor will be able to draft these legal clauses into your Prenup agreement; a free template will not.
Do you have any questions about Prenups? Chat to us on Live Chat for a quick and reliable answer.
4) What Does a Prenup Do and Do They Work?
Simply put, a Prenup can help you avoid a 50/50 split of the assets you have bought into the marriage if you end up applying for a divorce.
If you don’t agree to a Prenup agreement and you go on to divorce, you’ll need to start discussions on how to split your money and assets.
The starting point for most divorce settlements is a 50/50 split, whereas by getting a Prenup you may be able to walk away from the marriage with what you entered it with.
Crucially, if you cannot agree between you how assets should be split, then it will be down to the Court to decide, which is costly and very long-winded.
When a Judge decides what is fair and reasonable, the assets you accumulated before marriage are likely to be taken into consideration.
5) Prenuptial Agreements Aren’t Just for ‘Celebrities’
You could be forgiven for thinking that prenuptial agreements are only a good idea for the rich and famous or ‘celebrities’.
This is, however, not the case. Prenuptial agreements are suitable for any couples when one party has significantly more assets than the other.
If one person has a large inheritance, owns their own property or business, for example then a prenuptial agreement is suitable to protect those assets from being divided in the future.
Here are some more circumstances where a Prenup agreement would be suitable:
- If there are assets and/or property that would be difficult to split because they were obtained before the marriage.
- If you, or your partner, have children from a previous relationship and want to ensure certain assets are preserved for them and to protect their inheritance rights.
- If you want to protect money or assets that you may receive from an inheritance, either in the near future or many years to come.
- If you have a business or investments that you would wish to remain in control of following a split.
If your partner has debts prior to the marriage, you can insert a debt clause to ensure that you will not be responsible for those debts. You would declare that the debts would be repayable from any assets or property assigned to your partner in the agreement and not from your assets.
6) Timing is everything
If you’re signing a Prenup, it should be prepared and signed in good time before the wedding or civil partnership. A good time in this instance is at least 28 days prior to the marriage/civil partnership.
There is another type of agreement available to you if you are unable to agree and sign a prenup is good enough time, which is called a ‘Postnuptial’.
This works in the exact same way as a Prenup except it is made after the marriage or civil partnership.
A Postnuptial spells out to the court how your assets are to be distributed in the event of divorce or death.
How Much Does a Prenuptial Agreement Cost?
A Prenuptial Agreement with us will cost you between £299 and £699 depending on the complexity of your assets. Using traditional solicitors to obtain a prenup agreement can cost you £1800!
Other popular law firms such as Co-op & Woolley & Co charge between £1200 & £1800. Why is our service so much cheaper than theirs you ask?
Firstly, we use state-of-the-art technology to make getting the information from you much simpler, which reduces the amount of time our solicitors need to spend extracting the basic information from you.
They focus on the drafting of your prenup from the details you provide us with online. Unlike other services, you aren’t required to visit our offices or attend meetings to gather basic information, which ensures a much more straightforward and efficient service.
How can Divorce-Online help you today?
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