Prenuptial agreements – Dispelling the Myths

On behalf of Attwaters Jameson Hill posted in Family Law on Thursday, July 9th, 2015

With more and more couples thinking of entering into them, we asked Joyti Henchie, partner at solicitors Attwaters Jameson Hill, to help dispel some common myths and misconceptions surrounding prenuptial agreements.

Myth – Prenups are only for the rich and famous

No. They are used by people of more modest means. Couples are getting married later in life, often for the second time, and have commitments and assets, so it makes sense to have in place an understanding of the rights and obligations of each party should the relationship fail.

Myths Prenups aren’t fair are they?

Where one party to a marriage is considerably wealthier than the other, the outcome on divorce can seem unbalanced. The starting point for the distribution of assets is often a 50:50 share. With a properly drawn-up prenup agreement, couples have the certainty of knowing what their position will be if they separate.

Myth – They aren’t upheld by the courts

In most cases, the court will implement the provisions of a prenuptial agreement provided it has been properly drawn up and would not result in an unjust result. In most instances, a prenup agreement will be considered as persuasive and will have a significant bearing on the financial outcome of the case.

Myth – ‘We can make a prenup right up until the big day’

No – it’s advisable to make the agreement some time before the ceremony. If it’s made in a rush, the courts could mount a challenge, taking the view that it was made under pressure and so not enforceable.

We’re entering a civil partnership so prenups aren’t for us

Not so. Couples including same-sex couples entering into civil partnerships can take make a prenup agreement.

We’re already married so there’s nothing we can do

Whilst it’s better to make arrangements before marriage, it’s possible to enter into a similar agreement, called a post-nuptial agreement, after marriage.

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