A pre-nuptial agreement is an agreement made before marriage, designed to protect the interests of both parties. It sets out the arrangements reached between the parties regarding which assets acquired before marriage should be kept in sole ownership, and which are to be held in joint ownership. It also details how the assets are to be treated in the unfortunate event of divorce.
To date, a pre-nuptial agreement is still not binding in English law. However, recent court decisions have shown that whilst the court retains a discretion to alter the terms, it is likely to uphold an agreement provided:
- Both parties have taken independent legal advice
- The agreement has been freely entered into without undue pressure on either side
- The agreement is fair and takes into account the interests of any children
- Both parties are fully aware of the implications of the agreement
- The agreement is entered into at least 21 days before the wedding