Pre-nuptial agreements—client guide
Pre-nuptial agreements—client guide

The following Family guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Pre-nuptial agreements—client guide
  • What is a pre-nuptial agreement?
  • Why enter into a pre-nuptial agreement?
  • Are pre-nuptials agreements binding?
  • What will make a pre-nuptial agreement more likely to be binding?
  • What can a pre-nuptial agreement include?
  • What happens if we have children?
  • How do international elements affect a pre-nuptial agreement?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of a pre-nuptial agreement?
  • What will happen if one party no longer wishes to be bound by the terms of a pre-nuptial agreement?

This document provides general guidance regarding pre-nuptial agreements. Your family lawyer will be able to provide specific advice based on your circumstances.

What is a pre-nuptial agreement?

A couple planning to enter a marriage or civil partnership may decide to enter into an agreement that shows what they intend to happen to their money and property if the marriage or civil partnership were to end. The legal rules about these agreements come from the usual laws that apply to divorce, and also a decision of the Supreme Court in 2010 (Radmacher v Granatino) where the court said: ‘The court should give effect to a nuptial agreement that is freely entered into by each party with a full appreciation of its implications unless in the circumstances prevailing it would not be fair to hold the parties to their agreement’.

Why enter into a pre-nuptial agreement?

Everyone has their own reasons for entering into a pre-nuptial agreement. It may be that you and your proposed spouse simply like to be as organised as possible with your finances. Entering into a pre-nuptial agreement does not mean you are more likely to get divorced. A pre-nuptial agreement might be particularly beneficial where:

  1. one of you has substantially greater capital or income