The self proclaimed ‘worlds happiest separated couple’ Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Fergie (Sarah Ferguson), may tie the knot a second time. Will they also take the increasingly popular step of taking out a pre-nup? Although it may sound unromantic, pre-nups are not just reserved for royalty and super wealthy.
We at Moore Blatch see this becoming more and more relevant as couples are often marrying at an older age meaning that they are likely to have progressed further in their careers and amassed property or other personal assets, or indeed retired. Planning financial arrangements early on in a relationship may avoid problems at a later date.
These are all important factors when considering whether or not you would like to have these assets ring-fenced following a marriage.
The types of pre-acquired assets that you may consider ring-fencing in a pre-nuptial agreement are:
- Inheritance (whether received or likely to be received)
- Interest in family trusts
- Jewellery or artwork
Although pre and post-nuptial agreements are not yet legally binding in this country, the case of Radmacher v Granatino was a landmark ruling where the courts confirmed that pre and post-nuptial agreement would be given ‘decisive weight’ in the event of a divorce. It seems that it is only a matter of time before they do become part of English law.
When you are planning a wedding, at whatever stage in your life, it is never nice to think that it might not end happily ever after, but what a pre or post-nuptial agreement does allow is for couples to have a choice over their future and give them greater certainty and control over a financial settlement if the worst should happen.
There are currently special procedural rules about how a pre or post-nuptial agreement should be entered into and if those rules are not followed, it can discredit the whole agreement. It is therefore important to seek comprehensive legal advice from a specialist.
If you would like further information or advice about pre-nups please speak to one of our expert family lawyers.