Today the UK Supreme Court created a significant legal precedent after ruling that pre-nuptial agreements are binding.
Previously, pre-nuptial agreements have not been recognised by the Courts when dealing with financial proceedings after the breakdown of a marriage.
Today’s ruling means that if both parties have entered into a pre-nuptial agreement of their own free will, have taken full and proper advice regarding their financial situation and the implications of signing such an agreement, then the Court will treat the agreement as binding. The Court stated that ‘it will be natural to infer that parties entering into agreements will intend that effect will be given to them.’ However, the Court still retains the power to disregard a pre-nuptial agreement if it is unfair, especially to any children of the marriage.
A pre-nuptial agreement is a sensible way to set out each party’s financial position and to prepare for the future, should the worst happen. A pre-nup may be seen as good financial sense, just like ensuring you have home insurance before a fire breaks out.
Would a pre-nup benefit me?
Not all of us are fortunate enough to be worth £100million, like Mrs Radmacher, who in a significant legal ruling by the Supreme Court had her pre-nuptial agreement upheld. Her ex-husband, Mr Granatino, had signed a pre-nuptial agreement prior to their marriage agreeing to a financial settlement should their marriage come to an end. It was held by the Court that he could not now ask for more.
Pre-nuptial agreements are not just for the rich and famous however. You may find that a pre-nuptial agreement could also work for you, whatever your wealth. We have compiled a short list of instances when a pre-nuptial agreement may be a very sensible idea:
- If you are getting married later in life and have already built up some wealth of your own and you wish to protect your own hard work
- If you have children from a previous relationship and wish for your assets to be inherited wholly by your children
- You are getting married for a second time and wish to keep your assets independent of one another
- You are expecting an inheritance and wish to keep it within your family (and not that of a step family)
- If you simply want to ensure your own financial security in the future
Pre-nuptial agreements of this kind are common in the USA and parts of Europe and are a usual part of becoming a married couple.
Corlett Bolton and Co. have a team of specialist family lawyers who are experienced in dealing with all types of family matters. Corlett Bolton would be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding pre-nuptial agreements and to discuss your specific needs.
To make an appointment with a specialist family lawyer regarding a pre-nuptial agreement please call our office on 67 68 68