QualitySolicitors Gordon Lutton

PUBLISHED: 11:26 22 July 2013 | UPDATED: 11:26 22 July 2013

QualitySolicitors Gordon Lutton

QualitySolicitors Gordon Lutton

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Why Pre-Nuptial Agreements are not just for the rich and famous – advertisement promotion

We hear so much about the pre-nuptual agreements of film stars that people have come to link them with the rich and famous and few consider such an agreement for themselves. In truth, many couples could benefit from the peace of mind offered by a ‘pre-nup’ but first lets look at the facts.

What are they?

A pre-nup is a written agreement between a couple intending to get married or enter into a civil partnership, to set out how their assets will be divided in the event that their relationship comes to an end. Unromantic yes, but having a pre-nup doesn’t mean you’re going to get divorced.

Are they enforceable in the UK?

It is a common misconception that pre-nups are not enforceable in this country. It is correct to state that they cannot prevent a divorce court from considering financial provision, but provided that they are correctly drafted, following a number of guidelines, the courts will uphold agreements reached by the parties, provided that they are deemed fair.

Who should consider a pre- nup?

Many couples can benefit from a pre-nup, not just film stars. In most cases, pre-nups are used where there is a large imbalance between assets held by the parties but it’s not all about money. You might want to ensure that family heirlooms or other personal property stay in your possession in the event of a divorce.

They are particularly important for those entering second marriages with children from previous relationships. The pre-nup will protect the children‘s inheritance and ensure their financial future.

Pre-nups can also give assurances to families where one of the parties is set to receive a large inheritance or will take over the family business. This is particularly relevant to farming families where divorce can have devastating consequences on a holding which may have been in the family for generations.

What should I do if I’m considering a pre-nup?

You need to consult with a specialist family lawyer who will consider your circumstances and advise you on whether a pre-nup is right for you. As was noted above, it is important that you seek the help of an expert as the pre-nup will only be enforceable if it is properly drafted.

There are a number of requirements to comply with. It is essential that both parties have the opportunity to take legal advice and that both parties have disclosed to each other full details of their financial circumstances. The agreement needs to make provision for both parties and any children of the family, even future children. And don’t leave it too late - there should be at least 21 days between signing the agreement and the ceremony.

If you would like more information on pre-nuptual agreements contact Clare Whittaker of QualitySolicitors Gordon Lutton on 01432 361 037 or at c.whittaker@gordonlutton.co.uk

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