The UK prenuptial agreement

Prenuptial Agreements in the UK

The latest statistics from 2021 show that 42% of marriages end in divorce in the UK. Based on this statistic, all couples who are getting married should consider getting a prenuptial agreement, or at least understand what it is. You can download our comprehensive guide on UK prenuptial agreements below.

DOWNLOAD OUR PRENUP GUIDE

What is a prenuptial agreement?

First of all, a prenuptial agreement does not indicate that you think your marriage will not last. Not all marriages end from overbearing issues and it could be the possibility that you and your partner have fallen out of love. In instances like this, where nobody is to blame worrying about where you stand financially can cause more disputes to arise. Instead, a prenuptial agreement should be viewed as two adults finding a mutual understanding so they can both enjoy a stable life in the event of them parting ways.

A prenuptial agreement or “prenup” is a legal contract that is entered before marriage. It covers the majority of areas surrounding asset protection and what would happen after the result of your marriage breaking down. With a premarital agreement like this, you can protect:

  • Inherited money and assets
  • The wealth generated before your marriage 
  • Prevent maintenance from being above a certain threshold 
  • Savings or future inheritance assets and money
  • Business assets 
  • Stop you from being liable for your partner's existing debt
  • Stop children outside your relationship from benefitting from your assets

Is a prenuptial agreement legally binding in the UK?

A prenuptial agreement is not legally binding in all UK countries. England, Wales and Northern Ireland do not legally enforce a prenup. However, they are still well regarded in the courts.

So do prenuptial agreements work?

In Scotland, the contract is fully enforceable. That being said, a prenup still can be very valuable in the event of a divorce. To create a sound contract are these points of interest:

  • Both parties need their own expert legal advice before signing
  • Financial information needs to be fully disclosed before signing, this is particularly important if one party is in debt
  • No party should be forced into the agreement 
  • The agreement should protect everyone’s needs, this is particularly important if you have children 

If you can prove your prenup covers these areas, your contract is far more likely to be protected by the courts.  

If you want more information you can read this article that gives you 10 things you need to know before entering a prenuptial agreement.

Postnuptial agreement

In the UK, a postnuptial agreement allows you to protect your assets after marriage. Essentially you get all the benefits of a prenup, but you have the ability to approach it at any point during your relationship after marriage. This can be helpful if one party experiences significant change to their annual salary. In the UK, you can use a postnuptial agreement to review your prenuptial agreement or constantly alter a postnuptial agreement. 

Cohabitation contract

A cohabitation contract or living together agreement regulates who pays the outgoings of your property and other assets. Cohabitation contracts are useful for those in a relationship who aren’t ready to marry but live together. 

A living together agreement isn’t enforceable by law but can be helpful in the event of a dispute going to court. 

Goodlaw can help you with your premarital agreement

If you find yourself in need of more advice, check out our guide to pre and postnuptial agreements. Or call us on 01273 956 270 to speak to a legal expert in Sussex or 01252 471 211 to speak to a legal expert in Surrey.