Pre-nuptial agreements

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Jennifer Peebles


Phone 01264 325823


Two people embarking on marriage should be prepared to make many promises to each other. To have, to hold, to love, to cherish. But what about promising to split assets 70/30 if things don’t work out?

It won’t be the most romantic conversation you’ll have with your partner in the lead-up to your wedding, but it could be the one that you’ll be most grateful for. After all, a pre-nuptial agreement (or ‘prenup’) is a protection mechanism. It’s there to safeguard your ownership of certain things – whether property, investments, or money in the bank.

There used to be a general perception that prenups were only for the rich and famous; they weren’t things that normal people in normal relationships should consider. But they are becoming increasingly popular, perhaps because of the divorce statistics and a general recognition that failed relationships can hit all sorts of people extremely hard.

By agreeing what will happen in the event of divorce, a couple may be saved from having those difficult discussions about the division of assets at a point when emotions may be high and relations strained. It means that both parties should know where they stand at the outset. And where those who feel they would have much to lose from a court-imposed division of assets can ring-fence the things that are important to them.

There can be no guarantees, however. While a prenup could influence an outcome, they are not automatically binding. It is vital, then, that to give your agreement the best chance of persuading a court to uphold its terms it is properly thought-out, set out and formalised. Having a specialist Family Law solicitor by your side is the best way of achieving this. In fact, both parties should have had or had the opportunity to take  their own legal advice on the terms, and th

ose terms need to be fair – something that your lawyer will be able to help you achieve.

Clients often ask whether it’s worth putting a pre-nuptial agreement in place. The truth is that it really does depend on individual circumstances. They’re likely to be most beneficial where there is an imbalance in the parties’ personal wealth; where one person is significantly richer than the other and wants to protect their assets. But that’s not to say that prenups could not prove useful in other situations. They key question, perhaps, is: why not?

For advice about pre-nuptial agreements, divorce, or any aspect of Family Law, contact either Sandra Machin or Jennifer Peebles on

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