A pre-nuptial agreement is a legal document that sets out which assets (money, property, contents) should remain with the individual if the relationship broke down after marriage. In other words, you and partner may agree that a house owned by one of you before marriage would remain the sole property of that person in the case of a divorce. In most cases, provided all the necessary conditions have been met, the agreement will stand. There are cases where that may not be so and we can advise on these. It is important that both parties obtain legal advice and that the agreement is drawn up 21 days before marriage.
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