Our Team previously blogged on the proposals made by the Law Commission to make pre and post nuptial agreements legally binding. Those proposals have not yet been made into law and so the position remains the same, that such agreements are not technically legally binding, but this hasn’t stopped an increase in the number of people considering seeking a nuptial agreement. The Telegraph recently reported a large increase in interest in such agreements, with one firm even reporting a 50% rise in enquiries. I was not surprised to read this article and have certainly been approached about these sort of agreements much more frequently then in previous years.
So what is a nuptial agreement?
A nuptial agreement in essence is an agreement entered into by two parties in relation to their marriage. Whether the agreement is termed a pre nuptial agreement (Pre nup) or post nuptial agreement (Post nup) depends purely on the timing of the agreement being entered into, whether before or after marriage. Timing aside, both are aimed at providing parties with financial certainty in the event of their separation. The agreement can document how property, cash and assets would be divided by the parties if the relationship breaks down.
Many people may consider a pre nup or post nup to be very unromantic; others consider such documents as exclusive documents for the rich and famous but this is not the case. This is a common misconception but we are receiving an increase in the number of instructions from ‘ordinary’ couples.
Forward planning can remove the uncertainty and worry for all parties involved. Obviously nobody (or at least, almost nobody) will enter into a marriage or Civil Partnership with the pure intention of separating or divorcing in the future, but the marriage and divorce statistics do suggest that a significant percentage of relationships will end in divorce. In many European countries and in the US, pre nups are already seen as standard practice and in those countries it would be considered unusual to get married without having discussed the finer details of your finances and in advance. Apart from the taboo some people attach to such agreements, there is actually a significant benefit to be gained from sitting down and having these discussions, in advance of a planned wedding. If you want to read more about nuptial agreements, please click here.
If you are considering getting married, or are already married and would like to discuss your future financial security through a pre or post nuptial agreement, then please contact Justine Osmotherley from our Family team on 0113 336 3323 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: Anything posted on this blog is for general information only and is not intended to provide legal advice on any general or specific matter. Please refer to our terms and conditions for further information. Please contact the author of the blog if you would like to discuss the issues raised.