What is a prenuptial agreement?

Pre-Nuptial Agreements (or Prenups as they are more commonly referred to) are in the press a lot. Couples planning to enter a marriage or civil partnership may decide to enter into an agreement that shows what they intend to happen to their money and property if the marriage or civil partnership were to end. The purpose of Pre-Nuptial Agreements is often when one or both of the parties wish to protect the wealth acquired before the marriage.  Whilst some people might see Prenups as pessimistic or unromantic, our solicitors do not think this is the case as it often is viewed that a Prenup allows parties to enter a marriage with the shared sense of honesty and fairness.

It is often thought that parties need to be wealthy to consider a Pre-Nuptial Agreement. This is certainly not the case. Prenups can be helpful in most marriages, particularly where there is a marriage where the parties have children from earlier relationships and, therefore, wish to protect assets for the purposes of inheritance planning.

At Greens Solicitors, we work with many clients who have sought to enter into a Prenup in order to help protect pre-acquired savings, pensions, properties, and various other assets for a variety of reasons.

How can a Pre-Nuptial Agreement help you?


Whilst parties have their own reasons for entering into a Pre-Nuptial Agreement, it is often recognised that such agreements can often minimise conflict and reduce lengthy legal disputes should the marriage end in divorce. Simply entering into a Pre-Nuptial Agreement does not mean you are more likely to get divorced, but it can give a level of reassurance as to what is to happen if this were the case. Having a well written Prenup can be really helpful in resolving many of the legal issues / disputes which typically arise and, in some circumstances, assist in the event of you being stuck in ongoing Court battles. 

A Pre-Nuptial Agreement allows you to identify property / assets that you wish to retain as separate, so, for example, you might want to protect assets that you have from a previous marriage or have as an inheritance.

As well as covering such things as property, savings, and pensions, Prenups can also set clear responsibilities should you decide to divorce and, therefore, provide for future planning, not only with regards to you but also any children. It is useful as it can help prevent you from being responsible for paying debt that is not yours as well as having reassurance as to what is likely to happen moving forward.

Generally, when parties enter into marriage then following which, assets are deemed to be matrimonial, i.e., shared with your partner. It is often the case that should divorce proceedings be issued in the future, such assets will be divided between the parties, even if such assets belonged to one party solely prior to the marriage. 

Whilst England and Wales Pre-Nuptial Agreements are not strictly binding in the event of a later divorce, the terms of the Pre-Nuptial Agreement may just be decisive in the event of a dispute. The Supreme Court in 2010 said “the Court should give effect to a Pre-Nuptial Agreement that is freely entered into by each party with a full appreciation of its implications, unless in the circumstances prevailing it would not be fair to hold the parties to their agreement”. 

It is important that you get appropriate legal advice when considering provisions as to any Pre-Nuptial Agreements as this is often the difference between an agreement which will be upheld by the Courts subsequently in the event of a divorce or not. Therefore, to ensure your best interests are best protected, our team of solicitors can fully advise you as to your individual circumstances, what you seek to achieve, how best to do so as well as provide for the future needs in the event of a divorce covering all relevant assets both now and potentially in the future.

For expert advice, contact Greens Solicitors on 0121 233 2042.