Prenups: All You Need to Know

doughnuts-at-Alex-and-Lynsey-lesbian-wedding-Somerset-photographer-and-copyright-Ragdoll-Photography

It may not be the most romantic part of planning your wedding but if you are getting married you should consider whether it is sensible to enter into a pre-nuptial agreement (PNA). Linzi Bull and Lidia Cantele, from London law firm Harbottle & Lewis LLP, explain. 

Whilst it can be difficult to think about wealth protection and so negotiate the terms of a Pre Nuptual Agreement (PNA) at the same time that you’re picking up your morning suit and choosing wedding cake, it is often well worth doing. Having a PNA in place means you have greater certainty about the financial impact if the marriage irretrievably breaks down and that you may avoid the need to go to Court to resolve those arrangements. The Court process is lengthy and can be both financially and emotionally draining – it is best avoided.

Since the highly publicised Supreme Court case of Radmacher v Granatino in 2010, the Court will give decisive weight to a PNA provided that certain conditions were met. However, it is important to understand from the outset that PNAs are not yet automatically binding contracts.

In the past, PNAs were criticised for undermining the sanctity of marriage and so seen as against public policy. However, things change. The reality is that many more people (and not just the ultra-wealthy) are entering into these agreements because they want the autonomy to regulate their financial affairs.

The Law Commission began a review on the legal position of PNA in 2009 and published their recommendations to the Government in February 2014. The report recommends that certain types of “qualifying” pre-nups should become enforceable legal contracts, provided they are fair. The Law Commission has also set out a checklist which the parties to the PNA must observe to ensure the agreement will be considered valid. You should, for example, sign the PNA at least 28 days before your marriage, receive specialist legal advice and provide financial disclosure prior to signature. The PNA must also meet the financial needs of the parties and that of any children.

Despite change being on the horizon, this health warning still needs to be given: parties to a PNA can still apply to Court for a financial order if they think the effect of the PNA on divorce is unfair. If the Court is persuaded that is not the case, it is likely to make an award which simply mirrors the terms of the PNA. However, if the Court agrees that the PNA is unfair then it can use its wide powers to make a financial award to cater for the needs of the financially weaker party. Therefore whilst it is anticipated that PNAs will have a stronger legal status, it should not be forgotten that they may be open to challenge.

It is likely that the Government will enact legislation on the issue of PNAs within the next year or so. With the benefit of specialist legal advice, those signing up to PNAs in the meantime should take account of the Law Commission’s checklist and those who have already signed PNAs should consider viewing their agreements when it comes in.

Do you have a legal question concerning same-sex marriage? Ask us – email: [email protected] .

Legal Advice

If you would like to contact Harbottle & Lewis direct for your prenups, visit harbottle.com or call 020 7667 5000.

 Image Credits

We’d love to hear your thoughts, suggestions, and questions in the comments below

You may also like...

Bush-Hall-Music-London-Gay-Wedding-Venue-W12-Wedding-Venue-London-rock-the-wedding

Wedding Music | Ceremony & Reception

From ethereal classics and traditional processional to contemporary wedding song suggestions – view our best wedding music selection – create your own wedding music playlist and click to download direct from iTunes.

Read More →
crispy-polenta-caremelised-onions-and-muschroom-canapes-DIY-Vegan-wedding-food-menu-ideas-via-The-Gay-Wedding-Guide

DIY Vegan Wedding Menu Ideas

Whether you are cooking the food yourself or having it prepared by a caterer, you’ll want your wedding food to taste incredible. Should it pose …

Read More →
10-Mark-Rumen-and-reigstrar-image-by-It-Must-Be-Love-Weddings-Photographer-Hampshire-via-Real-Gay-Wedding-on-the-Gay-Wedding-Guide

Same-Sex Marriage: New Traditions

Equal marriage is a hard one right, and to celebrate the anniversary of same-sex marriage legislation, The Telegraph asked us what ‘new’ wedding traditions were emerging amongst same-sex couples…

Read More →
Ice-hotel-sweden-via-gay-wedding-guide

Gay Destination Weddings: Scandinavia

Want to marry in a country where mountains frame majestic glaciers and epic green forests are freckled with crystalline lakes? Then use our guide to help you choose the best place for your destination wedding in Scandinavia.

Read More →
teaser-1440-pink-wedding-theme-via-the-gay-wedding-guide

Pinky Promise: The Revival of the Pink Wedding Theme

Soft pastels, bold fuschias, screaming flurouescents – pink can be romantic, sassy and just plain fun. Today, it’s bang on trend: you and we’ve picked out some of our favourite pink pics to inspire the most romantic pink wedding theme…

Read More →
teaser-1940s-wedding-theme-ideas-board-via-The-Gay-Wedding-Guide

1940s Wedding Theme Inspiration

The fabulous ’40s can be defined by two distinct looks and periods. Take a look our our 1940s wedding ideas picture board below for some gorgeous wedspiration…

Read More →

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *