Five reasons why you might need a Prenuptial Agreement


Jane Auty

It may seem odd, or even counter-intuitive, to be discussing separation and divorce at a time when you are finalising your wedding plans, but with around one third of marriages ending in divorce, statistics should prompt you to at least consider what the financial outcomes might be were you to divorce.

A prenuptial isn’t just intended to define the detail of what happens after divorce. A prenuptial can offer far more value, ranging from agreeing the financial arrangements whilst married, through to fostering an open and honest financial relationship and forming a solid foundation for your financial future together.

In this blog, Jane Auty, Senior Family Law Solicitor and one of our highly experience Family Law Solicitors here at Thornton Jones Solicitors, gives her five reasons why you might need a prenuptial.

A prenuptial agreement can protect any assets you bring into the marriage.

When you get married, potentially your property and assets become shared with your spouse. A prenuptial agreement can make clear what property and assets you wish to protect, i.e. if property and assets are a result of your personal efforts, or are from a previous marriage, you may not want these to form part of the marital pot of your new relationship. This is an important consideration if you have children from a previous relationship who need to be provided for. Within a prenuptial agreement you can set boundaries regarding assets and property. You can define which are the assets of the relationship as well as which assets should be excluded from the matrimonial pot.

It can protect you from having to share your ex-spouse’s debts.

A prenuptial agreement can cover more than just assets such as property, savings, and artefacts, it can also make clear who is responsible for any liabilities, such as existing debts, financial commitments or indeed any future debts. This means that you can be protected from taking responsibility for any debt that isn’t yours, and any resulting financial difficulty this could cause.

A prenuptial agreement encourages openness around finances.

By discussing financial matters before you marry, you have the opportunity to establish what each of you expects in terms of your financial positions. For example, whether you are happy to share existing personal assets and debts, or whether you wish to keep these assets and debts separate. Open and honest communications regarding your finances set the marriage off on a sensible footing. A prenuptial agreement makes sound financial planning. It is a smart move to ensure plans are put in place to cover the possibility of a divorce.

A prenuptial agreement can reduce conflict during the divorce.

Whilst prenuptial agreements are not legally binding in England and Wales, they have been proven to be very persuasive when entered into fairly and properly. A prenuptial will not eliminate all the pain and the costs of a divorce, however if you have agreed through a prenuptial how you will deal with your finances upon divorce, then you will significantly reduce the stress and expense that is usually associated with divorce.

A prenuptial agreement sets out who has responsibility for what during the marriage and opens the way for your future relationship.

When making a prenuptial agreement, you are able to discuss and agree what will happen financially, both during your marriage and should you divorce, at a time when your relationship is in a healthy and positive place. Doing this can save heartache and difficulties should your relationship break down in the future.

A prenuptial can set out your respective responsibilities during the marriage. Essentially who will be responsible for what. A prenuptial agreement can also deal with some of the more complex and difficult issues, for example regarding the care of your children and what is best for them.

Is a Prenuptial Agreement Legally Binding?

Although a prenuptial agreement is not legally binding in the UK, if made correctly and in accordance with the standards set out by the Supreme Court in the leading case of Radmacher V Granatino, then it is likely to be upheld by the Court.

The legal requirements for a Prenuptial Agreement are as follows:

1. The Prenuptial Agreement must have been freely entered into;

2.The parties must have a full appreciation of the implications of the agreement; and

3. It must be fair to hold the parties to the agreement in the circumstances prevailing.

How long does it take to make a Prenuptial Agreement?

Assuming both parties have all the relevant information to hand and ready for the appointment with the solicitor then it’s feasible that an agreement can be drawn up and finalised relatively quickly. For more complicated situation where additional information is required, then this can lengthen the process.

Allowing sufficient time to make the agreement prior to marriage is important because the agreement should be entered into at least 28 days before the intended wedding date.

Who much does a Prenuptial agreement cost?

Hiring a solicitor to assist you with making a prenuptial agreement means that you can be certain that it will be completed correctly and will have the best chance of being upheld in court.

At Thornton Jones Solicitors our fees for a prenuptial agreement start from £750.00 plus VAT. The costs will depend upon the particular circumstances of the case and the solicitor will provide a more detailed idea of costings once we are aware as to how complex the prenuptial agreement will be.  

How do I get in Touch?

If you are looking to get married and want to discuss further the benefits of making a prenuptial agreement then call us today. We have an excellent and experienced Family Law team who are happy to help you and guide you through the process of making a prenuptial agreement.

Westbourne House, 99 Lidgett Lane, Garforth, Leeds, LS25 1LJ
Tel: 0113 246 4423

25 Bank Street, Ossett, WF5 8PS
Tel: 01924 586466

Sherburn in Elmet
6 Finkle Hill, Sherburn in Elmet, Leeds, LS25 6EA
Tel: 01977 350500

Bank House, 1 Burton Street, Wakefield, WF1 2GF
Tel: 01924 290029

About Jane Auty

Jane qualified as a solicitor in 1997 and qualified as a collaborative lawyer in 2006. Jane specialises in dealing with the financial aspects of divorce and has extensive experience in guiding clients through all aspects of family law breakdown. Jane also deals with prenuptial/post nuptial and separation agreements. She is committed to negotiating settlements amicably and constructively wherever possible and prices herself on a conciliatory but firm approach.

Jane is a member of Resolution and is committed to resolving family disputes in a non-confrontational way wherever possible. Jane is a member of Dovetail a collaborative group of lawyers.

The content of this blog post is for information only and does not constitute formal legal advice and should not be relied upon as advice. Thornton Jones Solicitors Limited accepts no liability for any such reliance upon this content. Where the post includes links to external websites, Thornton Jones Solicitors Limited accepts no responsibility for the content of such sites. Any link to a third party website should not be construed as endorsement by Thornton Jones Solicitors Limited of any content, products or services which are outside our direct control.

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