In England and Wales, prenuptial agreements are not legally binding and can be revisited by a court in the event of a divorce or separation. Prenups can, however, be given weight by courts.
The case of Radmacher v Granatino set out the principles that the courts will normally follow when deciding how much weight to give to any prenuptial agreement.
The Seven Principles of Prenups
1. Whether both people had all the relevant information when deciding whether to sign the prenup and whether they both intended to be bound by the agreement will affect the weight given to it.
2. The court should uphold an agreement that is freely entered into where the couple are aware of the implications unless it would be unfair to do so in the circumstances.
3. The prenuptial agreement should not negatively impact the reasonable requirements of any children of the family.
4. The courts should respect the couples’ intentions and never override an agreement simply on the grounds that the court knows best.
5. A term that ring-fences non-matrimonial property or protects pre-relationship assets is more likely to be fair.
6. The more a prenuptial agreement tries to address unknown future events, the more likely it is that it will be considered unfair.
7. A prenuptial agreement is unlikely to be able to displace claims based on one of the couple’s needs but is more likely to displace the principle that matrimonial property should be split 50-50.
If you have these issues in mind and ensure they are taken into account when your prenup is prepared you will improve the chances of it being upheld by the court. Expert legal advice is, however, essential with this complex area.
If you are looking to enter into a prenuptial agreement, you will want to make sure that it is done properly. We can provide you with legal representation anywhere in England and Wales.
Call the family solicitors at Slater and Gordon on freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online.