Proposing at Christmas is a beautiful idea, the occasion can only be enhanced by the additional romance and family values connected to this special time of year.
A pre-nuptial agreement, on the other hand, is rarely considered to be romantic. However, if carefully managed, it can be mutually beneficial and it is always better to plan it sooner rather than later.
They are often used to tailor and structure financial affairs involving family members, children or business interests. They can also provide peace of mind for both parties.
How legally binding are they?
A prenuptial agreement does not carry the same weight as a Court order and will not ‘automatically’ be upheld or enforced by an English or Welsh court in the event of a divorce and/or disagreement. However, the Courts will scrutinise prenuptial agreements as they do provide evidence of the parties intentions towards each another, should a relationship breakdown, and they are one of the factors that a court may take into account when looking at all the circumstances of a case.
When determining whether a pre-nup should be upheld, a Court will consider if:
- both parties’ had independent legal advice?
- either party was under any duress to sign the agreement?
- there was full financial disclosure?
- both parties understand the agreement?
- both parties entered into the prenuptial agreement less than 21 days before the marriage? If yes, it is less likely to be persuasive on a judge, should the parties seek a divorce later down the line.
- there has been a significant change in the parties’ circumstances resulting in it being inequitable to uphold the agreement?
If you are considering a pre-nup, contact us about the best approach.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call us Hitchin, 01462 458711. Welwyn Garden City, 01707 887700. (our offices will be open on 2nd January 2018 at 8.30am)