Prenuptial agreements will not automatically be upheld by the courts in England and Wales, but there are steps you can take to ensure the best chance of your arrangements being enforced.
In 2010 however there was a landmark case in which the Supreme Court stated that “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.”
In light of the courts comments in this case there are now steps you can take in the preparation of your prenup to ensure that it has the best chance of being enforced in the event you divorce.
Prenuptial agreements will be upheld in Court if in all the circumstances this is fair. It is for this reason that increasing numbers of couples choose to enter prenuptial agreements. They provide a way of ensuring that, in the event of a marriage breakdown, arrangements are resolved as quickly and amicably as possible at such an emotional time.
So what can couples do to increase the chances of their prenuptial agreement being upheld by the court?
Factors likely to be taken into account will include:
- Whether the prenuptial agreement was entered into in good time before the marriage. This should be at least 21 days before the wedding.
- Whether the couple have each sought independent prenuptial agreement legal advice.
- If the arrangements have been made under any duress, or whether there are any signs of fraud or misrepresentation.
- Whether the agreement fairly takes into account each person’s needs and children.
- If full disclosure of finances and assets have been given.
This may sound rather formal but a prenuptial agreement should not be seen as unromantic nor an obstacle in planning a loving future together. By disclosing the assets and income you each have, and drawing up a fair agreement with all circumstances considered, a prenuptial agreement can be seen as a positive start to an open, honest and fair marriage.
It can be a good idea to have the terms of any nuptial agreement reviewed every five years in keeping with changes in circumstances, children, and assets gained along the way. This can increase the likelihood of the terms being upheld.
For an initial consultation about a Prenuptial Agreement call the Family Solicitors at Slater and Gordon Lawyers on freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online and we will call you.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers have offices in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield, Milton Keynes, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Merseyside, Newcastle, Halifax, Wakefield, Derby and meeting rooms in Hull, Yorkshire and in Bramhall, Cheshire.