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Nuptial agreements – how valid are they really?

An increasingly common question we are asked is: ‘‘are nuptial agreements worth it?’ Just to clear any confusion a ‘nuptial agreement’ (more commonly referred to as a pre-nup) is now called as such, because it can be created prior to or during the marriage.

The reason to consider entering into such an agreement is to protect pre-marital assets. Here, we demystify the most common concerns.

Are Nuptial agreements legal?

Strictly speaking a nuptial agreement is not 100% watertight because Parliament has not legislated upon them – yet. However, case law has seen an increasing number of nuptial agreements being upheld. Legislation is currently pending – it is likely to only be a matter of time before it is passed.

Why consider a Nuptial agreement

The key question to ask is “do I need to protect any pre-marital assets or any pending inheritance?”

In particular with second-time marriages, people want to preserve their property for inheritance. It’s a delicate issue and can be uncomfortable to address but if you have a home that’s mortgage-free, if your husband or wife to-be inherits that entirely, or you divorce and they get a share of that, then your children could end up with nothing.

A nuptial agreement gives you peace of mind in the event of separation or Divorce. You cannot predict the unforeseen. To make an agreement is relatively quick – once it is made you can forget all about it- something easier to live with than a silent niggle.

Remember – it cost Paul McCartney £20m+ for not entering into a pre-nuptial agreement because he felt it was unromantic!

Time and fees to make a Nuptial agreement?

A pre-nuptial agreement has to be made at least 28 days before you get married. A nuptial agreement is made when you are already married. There has to be full financial disclosure and each party has to have independent legal advice.

It typically takes a couple of weeks to formalise. The cost is around £500 to £1,000 – based on an hourly rate. For straightforward nuptial agreements at Parsonage & Co we will quote a fixed fee.

To discuss whether a nuptial agreement is the right option for you, please call Parsonage & Co on 020 8614 4560.