With the recent launch of McDonald’s ‘Pre-Nug Agreement’, which has been playfully designed to help best friends make the ultimate commitment to always share their McNuggets, we thought now would be a perfect opportunity to explore the more serious side of Pre-Nuptial Agreements (‘Pre-Nups’), and dispel some of the myths around them in England and Wales.

Pre-Nups are agreements that set out how a couple’s assets and income are to be split in the event of divorce. It is a common misconception that Pre-Nups are legally binding in England and Wales, and whilst that is not currently the case, Pre-Nups that are entered into freely and with a full understanding of their implications should be upheld, unless it would be unfair to hold parties to the agreement. Provided certain safeguards and needs are met, parties are therefore likely to be held to the terms of the agreement.

The main advantage of Pre-Nups is that they aim to provide couples entering marriage with some certainty as to what would happen to their assets in the event of divorce. They can therefore often reduce the length of a divorce and the costs involved.

It is a recommendation of the Law Commission that parties entering Pre-Nups must take independent legal advice on the terms of the agreement. It is important that parties do that to make sure the necessary safeguards are in place, which give Pre-Nups the best possible chance of success, in the event of challenge.

It is another recommendation of the Law Commission that Pre-Nups should be entered into at least 28 days before the wedding, to avoid situations where they may be signed ‘under duress’. It is therefore extremely important to start discussions well in advance of the wedding, to allow sufficient time for Pre-Nups to be negotiated, considered and signed.

If you or anyone you know requires expert advice in relation to Pre-Nups (or any other type of agreement. E.g. Post-Nuptial agreements or Cohabitation Agreements), please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

T: 029 2034 2233
E: enquiries@wendyhopkins.co.uk

Author: Sam John

Published: 08/05/24