The legal status of prenups
A prenuptial agreement, or prenup, is a contract made before marriage to protect the assets of each person in the result of a divorce. As prenups are made before the marriage, the terms which are agreed upon have been made harmoniously and are usually fair. This can be seen as favourable to trying to arrange financial settlements when the marriage has broken down, when things can sometimes become unpleasant.
Prenups are often entered into for a variety of reasons, which include one party being wealthier than the other, one party having excessive debt, or a party giving up their job to look after children.
Up until October 2010 prenuptial agreements were not considered legally binding in the UK. However, in the landmark case of German heiress Katrin Radmacher and ex-husband Nicolas Granatino the judge ruled that the prenuptial agreement be upheld. This ruling means that prenups are now likely to hold considerable weight in court.
Prenups should only contain information about financial matters in order for them to stand up in court. Legal advice should be sought before entering into a prenup to ensure that it is fair to both parties involved. Sought legal advice will also make a prenup look stronger in court.
A prenup should be made at least 21 days before a marriage as any less time may be used as evidence of duress.
It is important that a prenup is reviewed regularly to ensure that new factors in the relationship can be added, such as the birth of a child.
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