Safeguarding the future of the people you love
Nobody goes into a marriage thinking it will end but – as everybody knows - it can happen.
Agreeing now how your assets would be divided if your relationship broke down might seem unromantic, but in fact it can help avoid arguments in the future at a time when things are already difficult, and it can also help you think about how you structure your finances during your marriage, to help avoid disagreements.
Pre-nuptial agreements are becoming increasingly popular in second marriages, too, where people often have children from a previous marriage and want to make sure their inheritance is protected.
As well as providing assurance for what will happen if your relationship ends, a pre-nup can also cover important issues during your marriage, such as how mortgage payments and other costs will be handled and how this impacts each party’s ownership of your shared home.
Our specialist family lawyers have assisted a wide range of couples with creating effective pre-nuptial agreements that protect both parties’ interests. We can help you negotiate, draft and review a pre-nup that works for both parties, keeping the entire process amicable and preventing any unnecessary conflict or confusion.
Speak to one of our pre-nuptial agreements solicitors now by calling 01924 290 029 or use our online enquiry form.
Common questions about pre-nuptial agreements:
- Are pre-nups enforceable?
Whilst pre-nups are not strictly enforceable in English law, British courts are starting to recognise them, and when the Supreme Court ruled in the case of a German heiress that their pre-nuptial agreement was binding in 2010, it paved the way for greater enforcement in the future.
For a pre-nuptial agreement to be enforceable, the following conditions will need to be met:
- The agreement must be signed at least 28 days before the wedding
- Neither party must be under pressure to sign
- The agreement must be fair and realistic to both parties
- The agreement must provide for any children either party has
- Both parties must fully disclose their assets before signing the agreement
- Both parties must take independent legal advice before signing the agreement
- Do I need a pre-nup?
This will depend on your circumstances and how much assurance you wish to have against any future change in your circumstances. While many think of pre-nuptial agreements as being for celebrities and the super-rich, they are increasingly common for all sorts of ordinary couples as well.
Specific situations that may make a pre-nup particular advisable include:
- If you and your spouse own or plan to buy a house together
- Where one of you will be living in a house the other owns
- If you have or plan to have children together or have children from a previous relationship
- If one of you intends to switch to part-time work or give up working to look after any children you have together
- If there is a significant disparity in your income or assets
We can advise you on prenuptial agreements relating to your specific circumstances, and clients have told us that having plans in place has helped them avoid difficult conversations at a time when there are lots of things to sort out and emotions are running high.
- What should you put in a pre-nuptial agreement?
A pre-nup can be shaped to match your priorities and concerns, but common issues to consider include:
- What will happen to your family home if you divorce or separate
- Where any children you have will live and how they will be provided for
- How savings, investments and pension entitlements will be dealt with
- What percentage of the family home each of your owns
- How rent, mortgage payments and other costs will be split during your marriage
- Can you change a pre-nup after you are married?
If your circumstances change after your marriage, for example you have children or come into a significant inheritance, you can create a post-nuptial agreement to reflect these changes. This will replace any existing pre-nuptial agreement you have in place.
- How much do pre-nups costs?
This will depend on various factors, including how complicated your finances are and any specific issues you need to account for, as well as how easily you and your fiancé are able to agree the details of your pre-nup.
We will be happy to discuss our fees and give an indication of the likely costs involved, so please get in touch to find out more.
Why choose Thornton Jones for pre-nuptial agreements
Our solicitors offer a friendly, expert approach to creating the right pre-nuptial agreement for you and your partner. We can provide clear, sensitive and practical guidance to make the process of creating an effective pre-nuptial agreement as easy as possible.
We are accredited by the Law Society for Family Law, reflecting our expertise across all areas of family law, including pre-nuptial agreements.
We can also offer the expertise of our Wills & Probate team, who have achieved accreditation from the Law Society’s Wills & Inheritance Quality Scheme. When getting married it is strongly recommended to create or update your Will, so this is something to consider alongside making a pre-nuptial agreement.
Thornton Jones is independently regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).