We take a look at when they are a smart idea and whether you should get one if you are tying the knot in the near future.
However, you might look at the statistics and view the idea of getting a pre-nup the same way as getting critical illness insurance - unpleasant and hopefully unnecessary, but useful to have in place should the worst happen.
There are plenty of websites offering free pre-nup services, however if you are serious about making one you should never simply download a generic agreement from the internet. There is no 'one size fits all' pre-nup - it will need to be tailored to yours and your partner's individual circumstances.
If you are thinking about drawing one up it may be worth asking your local Citizens Advice Bureau for advice first, and then going through a solicitor specialising in family law to have it professionally arranged. You can find family solicitors near you on the Divorce Aid website.
Prenuptial agreements are now legally enforceable in the UK, your aim should be to make an agreement that lays out how you and your partner would divide things fairly.
To do this you should make sure:
The pre-nup is drawn up a qualified solicitor so that it is compliant with UK law
You and your partner seek independent legal advice - separate solicitors means you avoid claims that either party was acting involuntarily
The pre-nup is entered into by both parties freely and knowingly - that means you must both understand the agreement fully and agree to it voluntarily
The pre-nup is signed at least 21 days before the marriage to avoid claims that it was arranged in a rush or by putting one party under pressure
You each make a full disclosure of all your assets and property in existence
You have the agreement confirmed by your solicitor to be as fair and just as it possibly can be - any agreement deemed to be unfair by a court can be disregarded
Once your prenuptial agreement is drawn up and you and your partner are both happy with it, the hope is that you will get married and never have to think about it again.
In case disputes occur, it may be useful for you both to have a copy to refer to if needed. Your solicitor will also keep a copy on file.
If the option of divorce becomes unavoidable, your solicitor will produce the agreement to be considered by the courts.
Hopefully that situation will not arise, and you will have many happy years together - with the reassurance of a prenuptial agreement there if you need it.
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