Are Pre-nuptial Agreements binding in England and Wales?

Is it worth having a pre-marital agreement and what impact will it have?

In England and Wales, pre-nuptial (or pre-marital) agreements are not automatically legally binding, but they can be upheld by a court if they meet certain qualifying criteria.

 

These criteria include that-

·      The agreement must be freely entered into.

·      Both parties must understand its implications.

·      It must be fair, contractually valid and made at least 28 days before the wedding.

·      Both parties must have received legal advice.

 

Additionally, there should be disclosure about the wider financial circumstances, it should not prejudice any children, and both parties' needs must be met.

 

When deciding if an agreement should be upheld, the court will consider how the agreement was entered into, the timing of the agreement, and whether the parties had taken independent legal advice before signing. While prenuptial agreements are not automatically binding, they have been regarded by the courts as persuasive and even decisive in some cases.

 

Pre-marital agreements are more common now, particularly in marriages where either person has children from other relationships, has assets acquired before the relationship started or significant gifted or inherited assets.

 

Mediation is often used to discuss what might be included in a pre-marital agreement, which can feel a more amicable way than negotiating through lawyers.  If you would like to know more, contact us by email hello@familymandm.co.uk or book a free call through our website.

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