"A pre-nup can be a prudent step to try to avoid a messy, costly, and emotionally draining legal battle in the event of divorce"
Joanna Gardiner, Lawyer
Everyone entering into a marriage hopes that it will last forever. Unfortunately, in the UK over 40% of marriages end in divorce. As such, an increasing number of couples are using pre-nuptial agreements to set out how they wish to proceed in the event of a divorce.
A pre-nup can be a prudent step to try to avoid a messy, costly, and emotionally draining legal battle in the event of divorce. Usually, a pre-nup will set out each person’s pre-marital assets and contain an agreement as to how these are to be treated. It’s also possible to agree on how assets acquired during the course of the marriage will be dealt with.
A pre-nup is not the final word. Either party to a marriage can issue court proceedings and the pre-nup does not bind the court. It is, however, an important factor the court will consider in determining a fair settlement. If a pre-nup was entered into by both people with a clear understanding of each other’s financial position and proper legal advice then more weight is likely to be given to it.
So, is a pre-nup unromantic? Arguably not. It might be awkward to talk about the breakdown of a marriage which has not even started – particularly as the discussion usually takes place between people who are very much in love. However, Elizabeth Gilbert, author of “Eat, Pray, Love”, described pre-nups as:
“An act of love to chart the exit strategy before you enter the union, in order to make sure that not only you but your partner as well, knows that there will be no World War II should hearts and minds, for any sad reason, change”.
At BCR Law LLP, our friendly and knowledgeable team has extensive experience in working with couples to create bespoke pre-nups.
This article was first published in the October 2023 edition of Gallery Magazine.