If you are planning to get married or enter into a civil partnership, take the time to think about whether you need a prenuptial agreement to protect your future financial interests.
With any luck, you will never need your prenup but, like insurance, putting that protection in place anyway can be invaluable.
Our dedicated team of family law solicitors can help you negotiate and draft a strong prenuptial agreement that:
- Sets out who owns what in your relationship
- How you and your partner want to divide and arrange your assets if you decide to break up in the future.
We serve clients across Bournemouth, Poole and the wider Dorset area. Although talking about the possibility of breaking up before you even get married probably feels counter-productive, creating a prenup could save you considerable time and stress later on.
Our goal is to help you come to an agreement efficiently without stirring up any unnecessary conflict between you and your partner. We are members of Resolution, an organisation of legal professionals who specialise in promoting constructive methods of family law resolution. Wherever appropriate, we can help you access Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods such as mediation and our team includes Resolution-qualified mediator, Mark Hensleigh.
What is a prenuptial agreement?
A prenuptial agreement (often just referred to as a prenup) is a document that a couple can enter into prior to getting married or entering into a civil partnership. It sets out what should happen to the couple’s money and property should the relationship breakdown and end at some point in the future.
Why make a prenup?
Trends in marriage are changing. Nowadays, few of us get married or enter into a civil partnership at the very start of our adult life. Increasing numbers of us are also getting divorced and remarried later in life. As such, it is common to come to a new relationship already owning property, considerable savings, or with financial obligations towards previous partners and/or children.
The difficulty is that, under UK law, marriage is viewed as a partnership. If you get divorced or dissolve your civil partnership, the law requires that you and your former partner split your assets equally, not according to who owns them. Even property acquired individually before the marriage will be considered in the financial settlement, unless you make a prenuptial agreement.
Therefore, you should consider making a prenup if:
- You have assets you do not want to split with your partner, such as family heirlooms or property bought before the marriage or civil partnership
- You have children from a previous relationship for whom you want to protect assets and inheritance
- You have a business you do not want to form part of divorce or dissolution proceedings
- Your partner has debts and you do not want to be responsible for them nor do you want your assets to be used to repay them
A prenup can also just make sorting out finances on divorce or dissolution easier. Separating couples often find it hard to cooperate with one another, so making the hard decisions while you are together could save you considerable time and expense.
If you are confused about whether making a prenup is right for you, we can provide clear, practical advice to help you make an informed decision.
Is a prenup legally binding in the UK?
Prenups are not technically legally binding in the UK. However, a judge is highly likely to uphold a prenup if the following requirements are satisfied:
- You and your partner were open and honest about the assets you own
- You both received independent legal advice and the agreement was drawn up by a qualified lawyer
- You both fully understand the agreement’s nature and effect
- The agreement is fair to both parties, particularly if you or your partner is in a significantly stronger financial position than the other
- There was no undue pressure on either you or your partner to sign the agreement
Can a prenup be done without a lawyer?
You can create a prenuptial agreement without the assistance of a lawyer. However, if you do not seek independent legal advice or get the agreement drawn up by a lawyer, you risk the agreement being unenforceable in court.
Therefore, to ensure your financial interests are fully respected and upheld in any divorce or dissolution proceedings, you should always consult a qualified legal professional for advice and guidance.
Can I get a prenup after getting married?
Yes. An agreement entered into after you get married or enter into a civil partnership is called a post nuptial agreement.
Why choose our prenuptial agreement solicitors in Bournemouth?
At Preston Redman, we deliver pragmatic, tailored advice on a wide range of family law issues. We are members of the Law Society Family Law Advance Accreditation Scheme, with Tim Flower being an accredited specialist of the Family Law Panel.
We pride ourselves on our warm, friendly approach to all individuals, regardless of background or personal characteristics. We hope to create a welcoming environment where you can openly discuss your financial expectations going into your marriage or civil partnership. We understand that talking about the possibility of breaking up can be stressful, but we are skilled at helping clients explore points of contention and find positive solutions.
Amongst our talented team, Mark Hensleigh and Helen Davies are members of Resolution. Mark is also a qualified mediator, with expertise facilitating prenuptial agreement discussions and helping clients come to an agreement efficiently and cost-effectively.
Preston Redman is independently regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).