Prenuptial Agreements in the UK Carry More Weight than Ever

Couples have been making prenuptial agreements for a long time. These agreements are most commonly made by those who have significant personal financial assets which they are keen to maintain should their marriage fail.

Though the prenuptial agreement was often drawn out with the help of professional divorce solicitors, they were by no means legally binding. When a couple divorce they often need the help of the courts to help decide who should have custody of any children produced by the marriage, as well as how the financial assets should be divided. This division is dictated by a number of factors, of which the prenuptial agreement is just one.

From Strength to Strength

Over the past few years prenuptial agreements have been gaining significant weight in the UK courts. The most obvious example of this involved a very high profile test case which came to an end in October 2010. The case involved Katrin Radmacher, a £100 million heiress, and her husband, a retired banker now working as an academic. The couple made a prenuptial agreement in the UK which clearly stipulated that Radmacher would retain the vast majority of her fortune should the marriage come to an end. Her husband, adamant that he was unaware of the extent of her fortune when they made the agreement, argued that the agreement should be thrown out. After a long and complicated trial, the UK courts eventually decided that the prenuptial agreement should stand. Radmacher retained her fortune and the status of the prenuptial agreement in UK law changed forever.

Though this may seem like an extreme case, what it represents is the recognition of the prenuptial agreement in the UK courts. Couples can now take out prenuptial agreements with confidence that they will be recognised in the UK courts. Though they are still not a legally binding contract like the co-habitation agreement, it doesn’t seem too far away.

The new strength, and publicity, which this test case has given to prenuptial agreements has prompted many couples to consider drawing one out. If you are considering making an agreement it is very important that it’s legally credible. To ensure that your agreement carries the maximum weight in a divorce court it is very important to use professional prenuptial agreement solicitors to help you write it. If you are going to make an agreement, it might as well be done properly.

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