Protecting your family’s wealth and assets with pre-nuptial agreements

On behalf of Attwaters Jameson Hill posted in Family Law on Monday, July 3rd, 2023

Summer is well underway, meaning that wedding season is at its peak. In the leadup to the big day, we’re here to highlight the importance of pre-nuptial agreements and their role in keeping your wealth and assets safe.

What is a pre-nuptial agreement?

Pre-nuptial agreements are used to outline how your money, possessions and property would be split in the unfortunate event of a relationship breakdown, and to protect your assets against any future financial claims. Although they are not legally binding in the UK, precedent shows that a court will usually place considerable weight on a signed pre-nuptial agreement if the terms are deemed to be fair and reasonable.

Whilst they have typically had a bad reputation among spouses-to-be, demonstrating a perceived lack of trust between the parties, the truth is that nobody knows what life has in store for us. And, just like we’d take out buildings insurance when we buy a house – not because we expect our house to burn down, but because it’s the sensible thing to do – it also makes sense to take out a pre-nuptial agreement upon marriage – even if you fully expect never to separate.

What are the advantages of a pre-nuptial agreement?

Signing a pre-nuptial agreement ahead of the big day has multiple advantages, including:

  • It gives clarification not only on how you will divide your assets on the occasion of your separation, but also how you’ll conduct your financial affairs during your marriage.
  • It provides both parties with transparency and certainty.
  • It protects your assets from future financial claims.
  • It will help avoid a potentially expensive and emotionally draining court case should your marriage break down.

Who might benefit from a pre-nuptial agreement?

Whilst we believe that a pre-nuptial agreement is a sensible choice for most couples (like any insurance policy), there are some people who would likely find it particularly beneficial.

  • Those who have ‘non-marital’ assets (i.e., assets accumulated prior to their marriage) that they wish to protect. These may include:
    • An inheritance already received or a future inheritance
    • A family heirloom
    • An interest in the family business or other considerable family wealth
    • An earlier acquired property.
  • Those who are entering into a second marriage and have children from their first marriage. A pre-nuptial agreement would protect the children’s interests by ensuring that certain property or assets are set aside for them.
  • Those who share a home with extended family members, and wish to protect the family home from any potential future claim.
  • Those who wish to be protected from any debt that may be accrued by their future spouse both before and during the marriage.

Protect yourself from future legal claims

It can be daunting to bring up a topic such as pre-nuptial agreements with a partner or fiancé(e), particularly given the negative connotations many people still associate with these documents.

Attwaters Jameson Hill is here to help with accurate, expert and empathetic legal advice aimed to alleviate some of the stress you may feel when tackling this subject. So, please call us for a free Case Assessment Meeting to discuss whether a pre-nuptial agreement might be beneficial for you.

Please get in touch with us on [telephone] or email [email address] to book your meeting.

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