Pre-nuptial agreements, often referred to as prenups, have gained popularity over the years. But are they legally binding? In the UK, pre-nuptial agreements are not automatically legally binding. However, they are given significant weight in court proceedings. Family courts will consider the agreement when deciding on the distribution of assets.

If you need legal advice concerning Pre-Nuptial agreements in Potters Bar, Hertford, or Finchley, the Martin Shepherd Solicitors’ team is here to help.

Are Pre-Nuptial Agreements effective?

Prenups are not governed by family law legislation but by contract law principles. While they are not officially recognised in the UK, the Supreme Court has recently cleared the path for their application in legal proceedings.

An illustrative example of this shift in the perception of prenuptial agreements in the UK under the law is the case of Radmacher v. Granatino 2021. Despite the need for an appeal, this case upheld the terms of a prenuptial agreement.

What makes a Prenup enforceable?

To determine whether your pre-nuptial agreement is binding, several factors are taken into account:

  • Clarity of Terms: The agreement must be unambiguous, without vague or misleading language.
  • Full Financial Disclosure: Both parties must provide complete and accurate financial information. 
  • Independent Legal Advice: Each party should have sought independent legal counsel to gain a deep understanding of the agreement’s terms and implications.
  • Fairness: The agreement must be just and equitable for both parties, ensuring that it does not place one party at a substantial disadvantage.

Secure your Future and ensure Fairness in your Prenup. Reach out to us. Martin Shepherd Solicitors will guide you through the process of pre-nuptial agreements at our Hertford, Potters Bar and Finchley offices.

What additional factors can invalidate your Prenup in Court?

The Court will not uphold your prenup if:

  • One of the parties was subjected to pressure or coercion when signing.
  • The prenup did not result from a fair negotiation, with one party imposing the terms on the other.
  • The party with more at stake did not fully grasp the prenup’s nature and implications.
  • A solicitor advised either party not to sign the prenup.
  • Circumstances have significantly changed since the agreement was signed.
  • The prenup did not consider future changes in the marriage, such as provisions for potential children, affecting its fairness and reasonableness.
  • The prenup was signed less than a month before the wedding, which may raise concerns about duress.
  • It was not prepared by a qualified solicitor specialising in family law.

When is the appropriate time to sign a Prenup?

Ideally, a prenuptial agreement should be signed well before the wedding, giving both parties sufficient time to review its’ terms and implications thoroughly. Signing a prenuptial agreement within a month of the wedding may prompt concerns about potential coercion. Therefore, you should finalise this legal process a minimum of one calendar month before the marriage ceremony. The ideal time to enter into Prenup is no later than 3 months before the Wedding.

Consider the time required for:

  • Discussing with your partner
  • Obtaining legal advice.
  • Drafting the agreement.
  • Reaching consensus on any modifications.
  • Finalising the signing process.

 You can also create a post-nuptial agreement after marriage to address asset division in case of divorce or separation.We can guide you through this process. Our team is ready to advise you on Pre-Nuptial agreements at our Finchley, Hertford or Potters Bar offices.Please contact Antoinette Doyle acd@martinsheperd.co.uk or Maria Scott mscott@martinshepherd.co.uk