Lawyer urges couples to plan pre-nuptial agreements early as wedding season nears 

A lawyer specialising in divorce and separation has urged couples considering a pre-nuptial agreement to make arrangements well ahead of their wedding ceremony to ensure that the agreement is concluded in good time prior to the marriage. 

A pre-nuptial agreement or ‘pre-nup is a bespoke legal document which sets out how parties agree their finances should be dealt with in the event of a future divorce, which often includes an element of preserving or ring-fencing assets.  

Pre-nuptial agreements are not currently binding in England and Wales, but if completed appropriately with specialist advice, they can be considered to hold significant weight when determining the outcome of financial matters between separating parties.   

Joanne McDonald is an Associate with Furley Page’s Family Law team, based at the firm’s Chatham office. She said: “Divorce is a fact of life for many people, and those marrying tend to be increasingly aware of the risk of divorce, however much they wish to avoid it For those who would like increased certainty as to what will happen to their assets in the future, particularly those who have acquired their own assets at the time of marriage, a pre-nuptial agreement is an attractive option.  

“A key factor in determining whether a pre-nuptial agreement might be followed by a court is to ensure that the agreement is concluded in good time prior to the marriage. Taking steps to consult a lawyer five to six months in advance of the intended wedding date is important to give sufficient time to complete the process. 

Whilst the preservation or division of assets may be a concern for those entering a first-time marriage, demand for pre-nuptial agreements is more pronounced among those who are seeking to remarry. With remarriages, parties often have considerations beyond their future spouse, such as inheritances already received, or children from previous relationships. 

Pre-nuptial agreements can save parties considerable legal fees in the event of a future dispute and the cost of not entering one can be significant. Whilst imperfect, pre-nuptial agreements are the only tool currently available to parties to pre-emptively seek to ring-fence or protect assets from being shared upon divorce. 

For further information on pre-nuptial agreements contact Associate, Joanne McDonald on 01634 828277 or email