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Prenuptial Agreements

Lynne ChambersThe Law Commission’s Report due to be published later this month proposes to legalise Prenuptial agreements which are currently only recognised at the Court’s discretion.  In recent years prenuptial agreements have become more and more popular. Whilst many couples enter into prenuptial agreements prior to marriage, these are often disregarded when it comes to dividing assets or resolving child maintenance issues following divorce.

The government now proposes that there should be legislation on the legality of prenuptial agreements and that they should be recognised by the Courts when dealing with applications for financial matters.

Lynne Chambers of Everett Tomlin Lloyd & Pratt Solicitors shares her thoughts on the matter. “Most people getting married or entering into a civil partnership will not be thinking about what would happen if the marriage or partnership were to fail at some point in the future. Entering into a pre-nuptial agreement can be the best way to protect yourselves and your interests in the future should something unpredictable happen.

There may be assets one party may wish to protect and whilst both parties may be in agreement about the ownership of any assets prior to marriage, this can change if the relationship were to break down and disagreements can easily arise.

Entering into an agreement can mean the difference between a quick resolution if the relationship ends or lengthy court proceedings over the division of assets which can result in a lot of the money being spent on legal costs. It will be essential for parties to obtain appropriate legal advice before entering into such an agreement and the proposals set out in the Law Commissioner’s report which will be published later this month recommends this”.

In a recent case before the High Court, Mr Justice Mostyn upheld a ‘pre-nup’ after the wife argued that it should be disregarded.  With the rate of divorce rising pre-nups are becoming ever more popular and legalising them will protect those parties planning to marry by creating legal binding agreements about how their assets should be divided should the relationship break down.

Lynne Chambers, Solicitor  at Everett Tomlin Lloyd and Pratt, Solicitors.

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