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Pre-nuptial agreements – the preserve of the super-wealthy or a sensible precaution for any marriage?

It has emerged that a prenuptial agreement has been called into play in the divorce between Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise and this side of the pond, John Cleese has recently revealed that he and his fourth wife,J ennifer Wade, signed a pre-nuptial agreement prior to their recent marriage.

But are prenuptial agreements restricted to the rich and famous, or are they actually a sensible precaution for any couple who have assets they wish to protect?

Whilst a judgement in a high court case in 2010 increased the prominence of pre-nups in the UK, by ruling that they should have ‘decisive weight’ in financial settlements following divorce, it is important to point out that they are not actually legally binding in this country.

As a family lawyer, I have seen an increase in demand for such agreements, both prior to and following marriages between so-called ‘normal couples’.  In a number of these cases, couples have either been married before or are older in years, perhaps already having built up assets, savings or a business.  Despite this apparent shift in favour towards entering into such agreements prior to marriage, it must be said that the vast majority of couples do not use prenuptial agreements. There is still a prevailing attitude that prenups are distinctly ‘unromantic’ – almost predicting the failure of the marriage before it is even entered into.

Whatever your opinion on pre-nuptial agreements, it is important that you know your options and speak to an experienced family lawyer for advice if you have any concerns.  Our team of family solicitors is one of the largest in the North West and can advise you on entering into prenuptial agreements, post-nuptial agreements and co-habitation agreements. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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