Is it necessary to have a pre-nuptial agreement?
As the pandemic came to an end, and with the final restrictions being lifted, 2022 is said to be the busiest year for weddings. Amidst the festivities and wedding planning, the tricky question arises of whether or not a pre-nuptial agreement is needed, particularly with the recent changes in divorce laws and the introduction of ‘no fault’ divorce.
Not everybody may want to enter into a pre-nuptial agreement…but what is the benefit of having one?
It may help to have positive discussions now to prepare for the worst case scenario of a separation. This is important if you wish to protect property and assets you own before you get married or, for example, if you have received inheritance or have received assets as part of the breakdown of your first marriage.
What if I do not have a pre-nuptial agreement in place and we separate?
If you do not have a pre-nuptial agreement in place and you divorce, the Court will have discretion as to how it will divide your matrimonial assets. With a pre-nuptial agreement you can prepare for and retain some control of what may happen in the future.
Whilst pre-nuptial agreements are not legally binding in England and Wales, they do carry weight following the case of Radmacher -v- Granatino: provided that the terms of the agreement are deemed to be fair and reasonable and provided that the agreement is prepared in accordance with the following principles;
- The terms of the pre-nuptial agreement must be fair;
- The pre-nuptial agreement must be entered into without undue pressure having been placed on either party;
- The pre-nuptial agreement must be signed at least 21 days before the wedding;
- Both parties must have produced financial disclosure in support of the assets;
- Both parties must receive independent legal advice;
Therefore, the best way to protect your assets in the event of a divorce or separation is to enter into a pre-nuptial agreement.
The Family department at Edwards Duthie Shamash Solicitors is happy to offer you personalised, tailor-made advice to prepare the pre-nuptial agreement that meet your needs.
This article has been written by Farah Naz, a Solicitor in the Family Team.