An Important Choice
If you have considerable assets and are considering marriage, then this is a legal agreement that you may wish to consider.
we are there to ensure that you are empowered to make the right choices when seeking to protect your future
We have seen the recent developments in this area of law give rise to increasing interest amongst our Clients. However, we understand that this type of agreement is particularly sensitive and because each persons circumstances are different we tailor our advice to your individual needs.
We mostly hear about Prenuptial Agreements from their popularity in America, where they have been held as legally binding in most US states for some time. However, until recently they were not legally enforceable in England and Wales.
Following a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court in the Radmacher V Granatino case in October 2010, prenuptial agreements are now legally binding unless considered to be unfair by the court.
The decision of the Supreme Court means that prenuptial agreements now carry more weight and are held as legally binding documents that give guidelines for a couple should marriage breakdown ensue.
Why should I have one?
You might consider having a prenuptial agreement for the following reasons:
- You and your partner have considerable assets and/or property that would be difficult to divide.
- You own a home together as tenants-in-common or one partner has sole ownership of your house.
- You have been through the divorce process before and felt the outcome to be unfair.
- You want to safeguard inherited family money or assets, a business, or children from a previous marriage.
- You expect future inheritance, or have substantial savings you want to protect
- You wish to address how financial issues would be resolved in the event of divorce rather than leaving it all up to the courts.
More and more people are turning to prenuptial agreements due to the way in which our divorce courts tend to deal with the dissolution of marriage. If left up to the courts, the Judge has a wide discretion as to how to divide the assets and there is no guarantee how that discretion will be exercised.
Is this something we should consider?
That question is entirely up to you and your husband/wife to be and depends on your individual circumstances.
Many will argue that this agreement goes completely against getting married in the first place; after all, why get married if you can foresee the possibility that the marriage might not work out?
However, you may look at the statistics that show that sadly one in three marriages results in divorce and feel it is useful but hopefully unnecessary to have one in place should the worst happen.
Now that prenuptial agreements are legally recognised by our courts, it may be useful to have one in place as it means you and your partner have thought about and agreed in advance a strategy for division of assets if the worst should happen.