Is it Only for the Rich and Famous?

27 June 2017

Gone are the days when Prenups were only for the rich and famous. Yes, there was a time when only A list celebrities would bother to invest in such a thing. But not anymore.

Now people – and indeed the Courts – are recognising Prenups as important legal documents that can ring-fence assets that were bought into the marriage, regardless of their value.

But here’s the thing: Prenups are not legally binding. So why bother to get one?
Well actually they are taken seriously by Family Courts in England and Wales. In 2010 there was a landmark ruling in the case of Radmacher v Granatino where the Judge enforced a Prenuptial Agreement that the couple had entered into 12 years earlier.

Since then Prenups have carried more authority in the Family Courts. So if a future divorce settlement is disputed, your Prenup may well be enforced, providing the Judge is satisfied that:

  • Both parties took independent legal advice before signing the Prenup
  • The agreement is fair and reasonable

If a Judge does not believe that the above criteria have been satisfied, the Prenup will not be upheld.

5 Things You Need to Know About Prenups

Even if you consider yourself to be an ordinary Joe Bloggs, you may well own certain assets, such as property, a business or money in the bank. If so then a Prenup is suitable for you, as it will help to safeguard these assets for the future.

If you’re thinking about getting a Prenup, then here’s what you need to know:

  1. Prenups are becoming increasingly popular
    More and more of us are getting married later in life, at a stage when we’ve already accumulated a certain number of assets. As such, it’s not surprising that Prenups are becoming increasingly popular, particularly amongst those entering into second marriages. In these cases, the individual may have children from a previous relationship and want to ensure their assets are protected for future generations to enjoy.
  2. Prenups deal with the division of your assets
    A Prenup lets you set out how you and your partner will split your assets, should you ever break up in the future. You decide this before getting married. Lots of people think that a Prenup is unromantic and that it’s strange to think about splitting up before you’ve even said “I do”. But really it’s just about providing clarity, so if things to do go wrong in the future, you both know who owns what.
  3. Prenups can include any assets you want
    No two Prenups are the same. Your Prenup can include any assets you want to, such as property, business assets, inheritance, savings and even what happens to your pet. Most Prenups deal with assets that have been acquired before the relationship. However, you can also look ahead to assets that may be acquired during the marriage. For example, you might be aware that you are going to inherit your Great Auntie Nora’s fortune when she passes away, and you want to ensure it’s protected from the marriage pot when you do eventually receive it.
  4. Prenups can help to avoid a potential 50/50 split of your assets
    If you don’t have a Prenup and you go on to get divorced, you’ll then need to work out how to split your assets at a time when emotions are running high. If an agreement can’t be reached, the dispute will end up in Court where a Judge will decide for you. The decision will be taken out of your hands, and could potentially result in your assets being split evenly between both of you – including those assets that you have brought to the marriage.
  5. Prenups requires independent legal advice
    Both people who are entering into a Prenuptial Agreement need to get independent legal advice from a Solicitor before signing the document. This is to ensure that each person understands the implications of signing a Prenup, and what it could mean for them should the agreement be enforced in the future. If each person hasn’t spoken to a lawyer, the Prenup may not be upheld by the Courts.

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