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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. We 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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