Currently, Pre-Nuptial Agreements are not strictly binding in English law. In other countries such as USA and most of Europe Pre-Nups are common enforceable contracts. There have been a number of cases which have improved the position of a Pre-Nup so they are now broadly recognised in English Court and the Law Commission is currently considering drafting legislation that would make them strictly enforceable in English law.
Familiy Solicitor Andrew Stynes says, “The current situation is that under English Law a Pre-Nuptial Agreement is “highly persuasive”. This means that in a dispute before a court regarding a pre-nuptial agreement the court must be shown a very good reason for going against the terms of the pre-nuptial agreement.”
There are a number of caveats that provide protection for both parties. These including:
- Both parties must have had the benefit of or least the opportunity to obtain independent legal advice
- Both parties must have fully disclosed all relevant information about their financial circumstances
- The financial agreement must have been entered into a reasonable period before the marriage ceremony
It is also the case that an agreement would not be enforceable if it does not take into account any relevant dependants of the couple.
Pre-Nups which were formerly only considered by the relatively wealthy are now increasingly common ways of protecting individual finances when marrying.
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 Andy or a member of the team will be happy to discuss any questions that you may have.