Prenuptial agreements are those which couples can choose to sign before they either get married, or enter into a civil partnership. The main purpose behind this agreement, according to FDC Law, is to set out the basis on which the two people involved will divide up their assets, if or when their marriage or civil partnership comes to an end.
With prenuptials, the primary concern is usually with the assets which one or both of the people owns before getting married. Wealthy people will sometimes choose to have a prenuptial agreement made up to protect their assets from a potentially opportunistic spouse. For anyone who is bringing a significant amount of assets into the marriage, and for whom there is a large difference between their own assets and their partners, a prenuptial agreement, FDC Law says, is a good idea.
A couple will usually have their prenuptial agreement tailored to their own particular circumstances, however, more often than not the main focus of such an agreement will be on the respective assets of each partner. According to FDC Law, it is common for there to be an inventory of each person’s assets, and the agreement will normally include clauses which detail how the assets are to be dealt with, should the marriage end. There will also be a list of assets named in the agreement, which will continue to belong to that person only.
Sometimes, the prenuptial agreement will also include details relating to financial arrangements for children following a divorce. However, FDC Law says that these details are not always enforceable, as the courts will examine any matters relating to children with particular scrutiny, and would not allow for the enforcement of any terms which are not in the best interests of the children.
When considering the fairness of a prenuptial agreement, the courts will take into account factors such as whether the spouse who is contesting the agreement fully understood it when they signed, and whether that spouse had the benefit of independent legal advice regarding the content and the effects of the prenuptial. FDC Law experts say that the courts may also take into account whether the spouse was given enough time to evaluate the document, and lastly, whether they were coerced into signing it.