It used to be the case that agreements made before marriage, which attempt to influence the way that English divorce courts allocate assets, were of little value. However, recent case law indicates that England is catching up with the rest of Europe, where prenuptial agreements have been fully binding for years.
A prenuptial agreement allows a couple who are going to marry, a degree of self-regulation over their own financial affairs in the unhappy event of a divorce. This can be of enormous value in removing the need for costly, protracted and unpleasant disputes, as both people will already have agreed on how their assets would be distributed if they were to divorce.
Prenuptial agreements are often of particular interest where there is an imbalance of wealth going into the marriage. The agreement must ensure fairness if a court is expected to enforce it.
Both people entering into the prenuptial agreement must have independent legal advice and must fully disclose all of their financial situations if the agreement is to stand. The agreement should be entered into around six months before the wedding date. Pre-nuptial agreements can also be drawn up prior to a civil partnership.
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