It has been revealed that Cheryl Cole, or as she may now be known Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, refused to sign a prenuptial agreement ahead of her wedding to new husband Jean- Bernard. Cheryl, who is reported to have got married in a small ceremony on a beach in Mustique earlier this month, met Jean-Bernard in May this year before getting married on 7th July.

Despite reportedly being worth £16 million and having a very public divorce from ex-husband Ashley Cole in 2010, Cheryl is said not to have signed a pre-nuptial agreement.

Although pre-nuptial agreements are not considered to be the most romantic of pre-wedding preparations, they are becoming increasingly common, especially when people have had previous marriages.

Whilst pre-nuptial agreements are not legally binding, they are highly persuasive and a significant matter to which a court will have regard when trying to reach a fair allocation of assets.

Over the past 12 months we have seen a sharp increase in the number of clients wanting to take out a prenuptial agreement compared to the previous 12 months.  Women and either one or both parties in a same sex couple of high net worth either through their career or inherited family circumstances want to ensure that they preserve their funds and, if they do get divorced, they are protected.

Prenuptial agreements can also help avoid costly legal battles for both parties which can sometimes mean that a divorce is too expensive.

Whilst Cheryl may not have gone down the pre-nup route, it is anticipated that the use of prenuptial agreements will increase further in the coming years, especially in the light of the fact that the Law Commission has recommended that they become recognised within the law, increasing certainty for couples and reducing the number of long and costly Court battles.

For further information or advice on pre-nuptial agreements, or indeed any aspect of family law, our team of family law solicitors would be happy to advise.