“What’s a prenuptial agreement?”

Couples deciding to enter into marriage may want to consider a prenuptial agreement.

This is an agreement entered into before a marriage (or civil partnership) by the people intending to marry which commonly provides for the division of property and/or maintenance in the event of a divorce or marriage breakdown.

Be aware that a pre-nuptial agreement has a very different legal status from other types of legal agreement or contract.  If you sign and exchange a contract to buy a house, you will be legally held to that contract even if the price you have agreed to pay is unfair or you do not actually have the money to fund the purchase.

Prenups are different.

A court deciding on the division of matrimonial assets upon divorce is under a duty to divide assets and income between the divorcing couple on the basis of what the court assesses to be fair at the time of the divorce and a prenup which appears to commit one or both parties to accept a particular settlement, will not necessarily be strictly enforced.

The agreement should be fair and each should use a separate Solicitor, keep the agreement under review.

On prenups, Parveen Attri, Head of Family Law at DBS, said “It may not be very romantic but it may save you money and conflict in the future.”

“The courts are showing an increased willingness to take account of them so it is worth seriously considering one as long as you understand their limitation and use a solicitor to draft it in order to have a reasonable prospect of it being upheld in the future.”

For more information about pre-nuptial agreements, please contact our family law team by calling 0800 157 7055, or emailing parveen.attri@dbsplus.co.uk

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