In the UK, couples spend approximately £10k billion every year on weddings. The average wedding currently costs approximately £35k. There is increased pressure on couple to prepare the perfect day for themselves and their family and friends. The build up to a wedding can be a busy and stressful time. As the Spring/Summer approaches, so does the wedding season. If you are planning on getting married, you may wish to consider whether amidst the wedding planning you should also consider a Pre-Nuptial Agreement, just in the same way as you would arrange a Will.

A Pre-Nuptial agreement is a written contract which sets out the parties intentions in relation to financial/children matters, should their marriage end in separation. It sets out all the existing assets and income, and the Parties wishes in relation to these assets, and should include provision for any future assets/inheritance which may not as yet have been realised. A Pre-Nuptial Agreement is tailored for the individual couples circumstances. Pre-Nuptial Agreements can be reviewed post marriage and a Post-Nuptial Agreement entered into. If a couple marries without a Pre-Nuptial Agreement, a Post Nuptial Agreement can be entered into in the same way as a Pre-Nuptial Agreement.

A Pre-Nuptial Agreement must comply with UK law and be drafted by Solicitors. Both parties will need separate legal advice and full financial disclosure will need entering into. The Agreement must be voluntarily entered into at least 28 days before the marriage, although longer is advisable.

In 2010, a case called Radmacher v Granatino, allowed for UK law to place significant weight on Pre-Nuptial Agreements, provided they have been drafted correctly and provided they are considered fair.

A couple may wish to consider having a Pre-Nuptial Agreement if they have complicated financial arrangements, children from a previous marriage, inherited money or assets, have substantial savings or assets in their own name or anticipate future inheritance. Without a Pre-Nuptial Agreement, the starting point for division of assets, upon separation, is 50/50 and therefore a Pre-Nuptial Agreement can be a very useful resource for consideration.

If you are due to marry this year, we would suggest you seek advice from one of our Solicitors in our Family Department about a Pre-Nuptial Agreement. We can be contacted on 01206 764477.