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RDP Explores the World of Pre-nups

Let’s talk about the “P-word”. One that is often considered before the “M-word”.

Pre-nup.

A pre-nuptial agreement is an agreement between a couple entered into prior to a marriage that seeks to regulate what they intend to happen to their financial affairs if the marriage were to end. (Pre-nups for civil partnerships are referred to as pre-civil partnership agreements).

Historically pre-nups have carried a stigma for being only for the rich and famous, however they are now rising in popularity.

In England and Wales pre-nups are currently not formally binding in the event of a later divorce. However, provided key criteria are met, a pre-nup is likely to be followed by a court. Therefore, to give it the best possible chance of achieving its purpose it should be:

  • Procedurally and substantively fair - it cannot be obviously unfair to either party
  • Freely entered into and made by deed
  • Made at least 28 days before the wedding (preferably far in advance of it)
  • Both parties must have received disclosure of the other party’s financial circumstances
  • Both parties must have received independent legal advice, with it recorded they understood the agreement
  • The agreement should meet the needs of the couple and their children

As with Baroness Deech’s Bill currently being considered by Parliament there are continued calls for pre-nups to be “binding” with statutory backing.

Whether you are about to get married or have already tied the knot (a post-nuptial agreement can be put into place after marriage) these somewhat controversial agreements are worth exploring. Perhaps a difficult topic of conversation to have with your loved one, it can often promote healthy communications about finances from the start of your journey together.

There are many reasons why a pre or post-nuptial agreement may be beneficial, including:

  • To preserve assets for any children from a previous relationship
  • Protection of money or assets that have been inherited
  • For clarity over finances if the relationship were to end
  • To ensure you retain control of a business
  • To avoid being liable for your partner’s debt
  • To protect family farming partnerships

If you are looking to explore nuptial agreements the experts at RDP Law are here to help. With the recent launch of its new matrimonial practice area being led by one of Wales’ leading family solicitors Matthew Wells, RDP specialises in family law with a particular emphasis on representation of high net worth, commercial and agricultural client bases.

For more information on pre-nups, post-nups and other wealth protection services click here.

Read this article and more in this month's Monmouthshire & Brecon Living Magazine here.

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