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Do I need a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

View profile for Andrew Stynes
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It seems to be the season for celebrity weddings and it is more than likely that many have made pre-nuptial agreements. Despite all the high hopes, best wishes and optimism on the wedding day, we are all aware that some marriages will, in time, breakdown.

Family Solicitor Andrew Stynes says, “Pre-nuptial agreements are becoming more popular in the UK given the power that family courts have to distribute family property.”

What is a pre-nuptial agreement exactly? It’s an agreement made by a couple before they marry, setting out how they would like their assets to be divided if they divorce. Although this may not seem a good basis on which to start a marriage it makes perfect sense if you have assets you want to protect. This particularly applies to people who may have their own business, or people with children from a previous relationship.

There are many reasons why a couple may decide to have a pre-nuptial agreement drawn up including:

  • protecting children from an earlier marriage
  • protecting business assets
  • protecting inherited wealth or likely inheritance

The Supreme Court showed their willingness to accept that ‘decisive weight’ should be given to Prenuptial Agreements in the case of Katrin Radmacher in 2010. The German heiress with a fortune of £106M was able to rely upon the terms of a pre-nuptial agreement made by the parties as both parties had the opportunity to have suitable legal advice, there had been full financial disclosure between the parties and the relevant formalities had been complied with.

Pre-nuptial agreements are becoming increasingly popular as a method of protecting assets owned before marriage, inherited assets and legacies to children from a previous relationship. Such agreements can be particularly appropriate for people who are marrying later in life.

We have offices in the Christchurch, New Milton and the New Forest. Our Family team also cover Bournemouth and Poole. For a free initial chat, please call 01202 499255 and Andrew or a member of the team will be happy to discuss any questions that you may have.