Have you arranged a pre-nuptial agreement?

14 Apr 2022

It is a topic that many couples avoid, but protecting your assets in marriage with a pre-nuptial agreement is an essential consideration

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Following the recent wedding of Brooklyn Beckham and Nicola Peltz, searches for pre-nuptial agreements soared by 456% – according to pre-nuptial agreement solicitors at Richard Nelson LLP

The couple's arrangement of a pre-nuptial agreement to protect their fortunes was well documented, with Peltz's father worth an estimated £1.3billion and the Beckhams worth £380million. 

Without a pre-nuptial agreement, couples run the risk of an equal split in assets should the marriage break down. 

Victoria Furlong, pre-nuptial agreement solicitor at Richard Nelson LLP, says: “While most ultra-wealthy couples are advised to get a pre-nuptial agreement, we believe every couple should at least consider creating a pre-nup when they get engaged.

"As people are getting married at older ages than previous generations, they tend to have acquired more assets which may need protection in the event that they end up getting divorced.

"It is important to speak openly about money in relationships as it is the number one thing couples argue about. For couples getting married this year, an easy way to begin the conversation is by discussing how they will handle any debts or assets either one is bringing to the marriage.”

Here, Richard Nelson LLP outlines what couples need to know about creating a pre-nuptial agreement:

  1. The basics

A pre-nuptial agreement (commonly known as a pre-nup) is a written agreement entered by parties prior to their marriage or civil partnership, setting out what will happen in the event the marriage breaks down and they separate or get divorced. 

The agreement usually lists all of the assets (or debt) that each person owns and outlines who will take ownership of these if the marriage or partnership ends.

  1. What a pre-nup includes

  • How property, money and any other assets will be divided

  • The protection of any inheritance, now or in the future

  • Any pre-marriage assets or businesses

  • Grounds to ensure adequate financial provision for children from a previous marriage/relationship

  1. A pre-nup is not legally binding

A pre-nuptial agreement is not legally binding. However, the court does recognise its increasing importance. A court has the discretion to uphold an agreement, or certain aspects of it, providing specific requirements are fulfilled when the parties entered into a pre-nuptial agreement. 

  1. You can get a pre-nup after marriage

If you are already married and regret your decision not to invest in a pre-nup, you can opt for a post-nup that offers the same benefits as a pre-nup.

  1. A pre-nup does not signify a lack of trust

While a pre-nup is often met with pre-conceived notions of lack of trust or a way to protect assets, they can also clarify financial matters and open up communication before wedding vows are exchanged. In some senses, it is a divorce settlement you arrive at before you get married. 

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