Why a Pre-nuptial Agreement should be on your wedding list

Joanne McDonald


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February 21, 2023

Categories Family Law

With the go-to wedding site “Hitched” reporting in January 2023 that May-October is the most popular time for couples to tie the knot, if a pre-nuptial agreement forms part of the to-do list amongst the band, flowers and favours, now is the time to take steps.

A pre-nuptial agreement is a bespoke document which sets out how parties agree their finances should be dealt with in the unlikely event of a future divorce, which often includes an element of preserving or ring-fencing assets.

Whilst the preservation or division of assets may be a concern for those entering a first-time marriage, often this speaks louder to those who have already been married , which in 2019, according to the Office of National Statistics, applied to at least one party in a third of the marriages taking place that year. So often with remarriages, parties have considerations beyond their future spouse, such as inheritances already received, or children from previous relationships for whom they would like to preserve financial security in the event of a marriage breakdown.

Pre-nuptial agreements are not currently binding in England and Wales, but if completed appropriately with specialist advice, they can be considered to have magnetic importance to the court when determining the outcome of financial matters between separating parties. Whilst imperfect, nuptial agreements are the only tool currently available to parties to pre-emptively seek to ring-fence or  protect assets from being shared upon divorce. Pre-nuptial agreements and can save parties considerable legal fees in the event of a future dispute and the cost of not entering one can be significant. One key aspect of enhancing the prospect of a pre-nuptial agreement being upheld is to ensure that the agreement is concluded in good time prior to the marriage, so taking steps to consult a lawyer 5-6 months in advance of the intended wedding date is important.

Trying to agree how finances will be dealt with in the event of a relationship breakdown is not straightforward but can be a far easier road to navigate within the pre-nuptial process, in the absence of heartbreak and bad feeling which so often goes hand-in-hand with a break-up.

For further information on pre-nuptial agreements contact Associate, Joanne McDonald on 01634 828277.