Prenuptial Agreements

Our team of experienced family lawyers advise on all the legal aspects of getting married or entering a civil partnership, including prenuptial agreements. These are documents that set out what you and your future husband, wife or civil partner agree should happen to your finances and other assets if your relationship breaks down and you divorce or dissolve the civil partnership.

Prenuptial agreements are a complex and sensitive topic. While some regard them as sensible, worst-case insurance, others may see them as unromantic and indicative of suspicion or a lack of commitment so they should be approached carefully and without any pressure from one party on the other. However, prenuptial agreements can be useful, particularly where:

  • you have been married before, especially if you want to preserve widower’s rights such as pension entitlements
  • you have children from a previous marriage and want to preserve their interests
  • there are inherited assets that you would want to protect from any divorce settlement
  • you are bringing into the marriage assets of significantly greater value than your partner
  • there is a business or business assets that you wish to protect in the event of marital breakdown
  • there are pensions that were built up before the marriage and you want them need to be ringfenced
  • there are overseas assets, or you are a non-UK resident

What do prenuptial agreements cover?

A prenuptial agreement should set out full details of your assets and income, how they are owned at the time of the marriage and what should happen to them in the event of relationship breakdown. For example:

  • ownership of and residence in the family home
  • how bank accounts and savings will be divided
  • provision for pensions
  • how business interests will be dealt with
  • whether maintenance will be paid, how much and for how long

Are prenuptial agreements binding?

Where parties cannot agree on financial issues, the Court has the final say and is able to override a prenuptial agreement. The Court must consider all the circumstances of the case and decide on what is a fair outcome.

Although it is in the Courts discretion to make an order reflecting the terms of a prenuptial agreement, recent case law has shown that a properly drawn up prenuptial agreement is an increasingly important factor that the Court will consider.

What is required for a prenuptial agreement?

  • Each party must have independent legal advice
  • There must be complete disclosure of each party’s finances
  • It should be completed in good time before the wedding, preferably more than two months
  • There must have been no pressure from either party to enter the agreement

What should you do if your partner wants you to sign a pre-nuptial agreement?

It is essential to take legal advice if you are asked to sign any legal document, particularly a pre- or post-nuptial agreement. You could be agreeing to reduce any claim you have to matrimonial assets upon signing an agreement so it is vital that you are properly advised to protect your interests. We can help you understand the contents of any such agreement and advise you the potential consequences – what you may be agreeing to give up if you sign.

Speak confidentially to one of our divorce and family lawyers for guidance about the best path for you, by calling us now on 01726 874 700 or email


Sarah Evans

Head of Family

Elise Alma


Anna Barrick


Bradley Kaine


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Sarah Evans

Head of Family

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