Do we need a prenuptial agreement?
Before getting married or entering a civil partnership, it is worth considering whether a prenuptial agreement, otherwise known as a prenup, is suitable.
What is a prenuptial agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is a written agreement which shows your intentions should your marriage or civil partnership end. Prenuptial agreements can be tailored to you and your partner to cover anything (providing it is fair).
Some examples of things couples wish to include in their prenuptial agreement are as follows:
- What happens to your home;
- What happens to any properties brought into the marriage or inherited;
- What happens to money held in joint accounts or saved during the marriage;
- What happens to your pensions;
- What happens to your debts;
- Whether either of you is to pay or receive maintenance, and the duration;
- Whether the prenuptial agreement is to be reviewed at any point; and
- Whether any agreements for current or future children would be put in place.
Effect on the court
Should your marriage or civil partnership end, the court is not necessarily bound to follow your agreement, but it is likely that the court will give it due consideration providing it is fair. Sometimes, the court will uphold one part of a prenuptial agreement while holding another part to be unfair.
How can we reach a prenuptial agreement?
This is entirely dependent on you as a couple. Some partners are happy to agree on it together, while others prefer using solicitors, mediation or collaborative law to negotiate. Should you require us to negotiate, the Heald family team will help you to reach a fair and sensible agreement.
What happens if we have children in the future?
You must be careful to ensure that a prenuptial agreement does not affect your future children negatively. It is normal to include provisions for children in your prenuptial agreement, even if you do not have any at the time. If your marriage or civil partnership were to end, the court’s first consideration is always the welfare of the children. Therefore, it is important not to include any agreement which might affect your children negatively such as an agreement to opt out of providing financial support for any children.