What is a prenuptial agreement?

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What is a prenup?

In the UK, a Prenuptial Agreement (‘Prenup’) is a written marriage contract entered into by two people before marriage. A prenup typically lists all of the property each person owns (as well as any debts) and specifies what each person’s property rights will be after the marriage.

What is the purpose of a prenup?

The purpose of a  prenuptial agreement is to provide clarity and certainty around the arrangements in the event of a breakdown of a marriage, to save the uncertainty, time and stress of arguing about the finances at a later stage. 

Your Prenup can include any assets you want to, such as property, business assets, inheritance, savings and even what happens to your pets.

There are many benefits of a prenup including…

  1. To protect pre-marital assets
  2. To protect business assets
  3.  If you or your partner have debts
  4. To protect the financial interests of your children
  5. To agree how finances will be managed during the marriage
  6. Amicable separation or divorce

Depending on your circumstances, we will advise you about the benefits of having a pre-nup. Contact us today.

How do I get a prenup?

Contact a family solicitor. In order for a prenuptial agreement to be considered valid and binding, both parties involved must seek independent legal advice on the document to ensure it is fair and lawful. 

If you are considering a prenuptial agreement, or you have signed a prenuptial agreement and would like advice, please contact a member of our Family Team. We’re always happy to help.

Aren’t prenups just for rich people?

Pre-nuptial agreements are often associated as something for celebrities and wealthy individuals but prenuptial agreements aren’t just something wealthy people should consider. Prenups are an affordable option for most couples and can provide peace of mind during your relationship as well as making life much easier if you do ever separate.

How long does a prenup take?

Our top tip is don’t leave it too late. A prenup should be completed at least 21 days before marriage.

How much does a prenup cost?

The cost of a prenuptial agreement varies greatly depending on its complexity. To get a better idea for you, you should meet with a lawyer for a consultation. 

At Goughs Solicitors, we offer a 30 minute consultation. Our family lawyers are experts in all aspects of pre-nuptial agreements and will provide specialist advice tailored to you and your circumstances. 

What makes a prenup legally binding?

A prenuptial agreement in the UK is not automatically legally binding. 

Despite this, judges in the UK generally give prenuptial agreements significant weight in proceedings and will be upheld by a court so long as it meets the qualifying criteria, which have been set by the Supreme Court and further reviewed by the Law Commission:

  • The agreement must be freely entered into.
  • Both parties must understand the implications of the agreement.
  • The agreement must be fair.
  • The agreement must be contractually valid.
  • The agreement must have been made at least 28 days before the wedding.
  • There should be disclosure about the wider financial circumstances.
  • Both parties must have received legal advice.
  • It should not prejudice any children
  • Both parties’ needs must be met

Can I get a prenup online?

Without the advice of a legal expert you could fall into several traps when preparing a prenup. 

If you require any assistance or advice on a prenuptial agreement, Goughs Solicitors, Family lawyers are happy to offer a free 30 minute consultation.

How do I bring up a prenup with my partner?

While it’s not an easy conversation, there are ways to talk about a prenuptial agreement that will give you and your partner greater clarity for the future and a foundation of trust and honesty to build upon. 

Here’s some tips on how to bring the conversation up with your partner…

  1. Introduce the conversation early
  2. Be ready to help your partner understand and come to support the idea
  3. Be transparent
  4. Plan together and focus on fairness
  5. Listen to your partner’s feedback and suggestions

Are prenups just for protecting one party?

Prenups can, and should, value each person independently. Prenups can be very fair in ensuring that not only one party is benefited by agreeing and recording how each person’s financial needs can be comfortably met, which also makes a later dispute far less likely. 

We always strongly recommend that each person has specialist independent legal advice to protect their position. We regularly work constructively with other law firms to ensure that happens.

Can you get a prenuptial agreement after getting married?

Prenuptial agreements must be signed before the marriage takes place. If you are already married but still want some protection, we can assist you with a postnuptial agreement instead. 

Can Goughs help me with my prenup?

Yes! At Goughs, we have the necessary legal expertise to ensure you get the best advice you  need to get your situation happily settled before the celebrations begin. 

If you are considering a prenuptial agreement, or you have signed a prenuptial agreement and would like advice, please contact a member of our Family Team. We’re always happy to help.

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Author Bio

Ross Phillips

I joined Goughs as a trainee solicitor and since qualifying, I have worked my way up from solicitor to associate, senior associate and in 2020 I became a partner.

I thrive on obtaining favourable financial settlements for my clients and achieving a fair outcome for parents who may be having difficulties managing childrens’ arrangements with their ex-partners.

I tailor my approach to disputes depending upon the client’s individual needs. I am regularly instructed by those going through an acrimonious separation who require support throughout and often a forensic analysis of assets where money has been dissipated or hidden.

I apply a robust approach to resolve disputes quickly and in the best interests of the client. I give pragmatic and commercial advice at an early stage where there is a risk to one party’s financial security or where the other spouse is seeking to delay, obstruct or frustrate what should otherwise be an amicable reconstruction of the couples’ finances following separation.

I am happy to offer a free 30-minute consultation at short notice and am very willing to be flexible as to the timing of such appointments.

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