With the wedding season now firmly upon us more and more we are being instructed to draft prenuptial agreements.
Historically it used to be only the rich and famous who used to enter into such agreements but now more and more people are entering into them.
With second marriages on the increase and people marrying later in life they are keen to try and protect wealth they have accumulated prior to their marriage.
But what is their legal status?
Following the Supreme Court decision in Radmacher v Granatino in October 2010 the Court effectively said that pre-nuptial agreements should be given effect if they have been entered into freely by each party with full appreciation of it’s implications unless in the circumstances it would not be fair to hold the parties to their agreement.
If you want to enter into a pre-nuptial agreement to ensure that the Court attaches as much weight to it as possible there are a number of important formalities that should be complied with. The agreement will need to have been professionally drafted, the parties will need to have known about each other’s financial position, the agreement needs to be fair and both parties need to have freely and willingly entered into the contract.
The longer a marriage lasts following the parties entering into a pre-nuptial agreement the greater chance that it may not be fair to hold the parties to it’s terms because of unforeseen changes in circumstances. It is therefore sensible to have a review clause in the agreement so that it can be amended.
Some people think they are unromantic. Certainly in the build up to the wedding the last thing some people want to be discussing is what is going to happen in the event that marriage doesn't work out but they should be seen as an opportunity for honest discussions and planning for the future.
For further advice about pre-nuptial agreements or any other aspect of family law then please contact one of our specialist family solicitors. We have specialist family solicitors at each of our offices in Ashford, Canterbury and Herne Bay.
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