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Guide To Prenuptial Agreements in the UK

We all hope that when we get married, we enjoy a long and happy marriage and rightly so, most couples think they’ll never split up. But unfortunately 44% of UK marriages end in a divorce. However if the unthinkable happens and your marriage ends, a prenuptial agreement can help protect your assets and wealth.

These marriage contracts are no longer just for the rich and famous. With more people marrying later in life, sometimes for the second or third time, prenups are becoming much more popular for ‘ordinary people’ as a way of avoiding future long and costly court battles.

So is it unromantic, or simply pragmatic to take steps to protect your money and assets should your marriage end up becoming one of the unlucky 44% that end in divorce? We hope to unravel all of the details in this simplified prenup guide so that you can decide whether a prenup is right for you.

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    Prenuptial Agreement Service

    Prenuptial agreements are now considered to be an essential ‘insurance policy’ for anyone entering into a marriage with assets they wish to protect.

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    This is a legal agreement for people that are getting married but want to protect their assets in the event of a divorce in the future.
    • Fixed-fee with no hidden extras
    • Professional legal advice on the implications of signing a prenup
    • You’ll receive a professionally drafted agreement

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can You Get a Prenup Online?

    Can you get a prenup online in the UK is a question being asked more and more. These agreements are now considered to be an essential ‘insurance policy’ for those who want to protect their assets before entering a marriage.

    Many people in the UK are now choosing this strategy and not just those with a high net worth. If both parties are in an agreement and have taken legal advice then getting a prenup online is a sensible option.

    Can a UK prenuptial agreement be changed?

    Yes a prenuptial agreement can be changed at any time, providing both parties agree to the changes.

    It is in fact advisable that prenups are reviewed every few years to ensure they take account of the latest situation within the marriage, for example if there has been a material change of financial circumstances or after life events such as the birth of a child.

    Prenuptial agreements can have clauses inbuilt so that they might be reviewed after a certain passage of time or following changes in circumstances, such illness or a change in employment status.

    Can I get a prenuptial agreement after getting married?

    You can only get a prenup agreement before you get married, but you can get a postnuptial agreement any time during a marriage.

    A postnup can cover all sorts of assets including property, savings, pensions, inheritance, and high-value art and jewellery.

    The aim of a postnuptial agreement is to avoid assets becoming mixed together in the matrimonial pot and to reduce financial disputes further down the line in the case of divorce.

    Prenup vs Postnup – What is the difference between a prenup and postnup?

    Prenup and postnup agreements are fundamentally the same type of contract that are used to set out how the assets of each partner should be distributed in the event of divorce. But the big difference, and it is a crucial one, is that prenups are entered into before marriage whereas postnups are formed after marriage.

    So in summary, you must get a prenup before you are legally married, but you can get a postnup any time after getting married.

    Which is better prenup or postnup?

    The question of whether prenup and postnup agreements are equally effective is a difficult one as there is no definitive answer.

    One view is that since prenups are agreed upon before marriage, it can be easier to decide who owns what while both parties are still leading independent lives and don’t have mixed assets. Coercion is also less likely when signing before couples are actually married.

    An opposing argument is that although postnups can’t side-step the authority of the court any more than a prenup, they have become more persuasive in financial proceedings because they usually involve a party giving up existing rights.

    For the most part, once agreed upon and provided the necessary steps have been taken to ensure the court will take the agreement into account, both prenups and postnups are likely to be equally as effective. Both types of agreement can give divorcing couples a quick and inexpensive resolution to a financial settlement dispute, as opposed to many months in court with a costly outcome that cannot be predicted.

    The choice of prenup or postnup may simply come down to the fact that if you are already married and feel that an agreement is appropriate then a postnuptial agreement is your only option.

    Are nuptial agreements binding Radmacher v Granatino?

    As we previously stated, nuptial agreements are usually recognised in UK courts, though judges do have the discretion to depart from the agreement. So what was the decision in Radmacher v Granatino and why is it important?

    The answer is that only Parliament can make nuptial agreements legally binding in the UK, however in the case of Radmacher v Granatino the Supreme Court ruled:

    “The court should give effect to a nuptial agreement that is freely entered into by each party with a full appreciation of its implications unless in the circumstances prevailing it would not be fair to hold the parties to their agreement.”

    Therefore, while the Supreme Court decision in Radmacher v Granatino does not automatically make nuptial agreements legally binding, this judgement made on 20th October 2010 marks the point in UK legal history where nuptial agreements became close to binding and brings the law a step closer to enforcing them.

    The Supreme Court is the final court of appeal in the United Kingdom for all civil cases.


    Mark Keenan, the founder of Divorce-Online.co.uk, said: “Discussing how assets are to be split in the event of a divorce might feel unromantic before getting wed, but it is an important step towards protecting yourself and your finances later in life.

    Having these conversations won’t ruin your relationship, it could actually make it stronger. A side benefit to getting a prenup is that it forces couples to get into the day-to-day details of their finances and how they think about money.

    Even if you are not currently wealthy, you never know where you will end up financially and if a relationship will stand the test of time so it’s still just as important for you”.

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