The popularity of prenuptial agreements is continuing to grow. Prenups have been common place in the U.S. and continental Europe for many years, and the U.K. and other jurisdictions are now following suit.
With the unfortunate statistic that more than 40% of marriages in developed countries end in divorce, prenuptial agreements can save people a lot of acrimony, stress and legal fees should things not go according to plan.
Contentious divorce matters can result in bitter and costly court battles which will often only serve to deplete the marital assets and irreparably damage relations with your soon to be former spouse. This is far from ideal for anyone, especially when children are involved and parties have to continue to both fund and coparent their children for many years to come. By entering into a prenuptial agreement and avoiding protracted litigation, parties are not just protecting their financial assets, but also preserving their future relationship with one another should the worst happen.
Traditionally, prenuptial agreements have been used by high-net- worth (HNW) and ultra-high- net-worth (UHNW) individuals and families who potentially have much to lose and who wish to protect inherited wealth and business interests on divorce. However, with Courts increasingly upholding properly entered into prenuptial agreements, prenups do also have value in an average marriage situation where parties can ill afford to be embroiled in expensive litigation.
Prenuptial agreements can be as simple or as complex as people wish to make them and can be tailored depending on the value of assets at stake. They can deal with just one asset or an array of assets both existing and future.
For most couples, discussing a prenuptial agreement with your partner can be a sensitive and difficult subject. However, it is important to be open and frank about the issue as early as possible, and whilst somewhat unromantic perhaps, it should be viewed as insurance to make things as painless as possible should the worst happen.
If a prenuptial agreement is to be upheld, it is extremely important that it is prepared and executed properly and that the parties take appropriate (and independent) advice from family law specialists.
Our team at KSG has extensive experience in advising on prenuptial agreements and all aspects of family law. For all family law queries, please contact our family law partner, David Holland.
Disclaimer: This article and the material on this website was prepared for general information purposes only to provide an overview of the subject matter, and is subject to change without notice. It is not a substitute for legal advice nor is it legal opinion and should not be taken as such. If you require legal advice, please contact us and arrange a consultation.