Pre-nup part 1 of 4: what is a prenup – prenuptial agreement?

‘Prenup‘ stands for pre-nuptial agreement, which is a financial agreement you make with your partner before you get married. It sets out your current financial position and that of your partner, and how you intend to divide these assets (and any other assets you may build up over the period of your marriage), if your relationship comes to an end.

It could be said that establishing a pre-nup is proof that you don’t expect your relationship to last… but by the same reasoning, you don’t take out life insurance because you expect to die! The intention is that even though you hope it’ll never be used, forward planning can mean that a difficult situation isn’t made worse.

What does the prenup cover? You can decide on all manner of financial issues within a pre-nup – for example, you may already own property, and you want to keep it as a sole investment or security. It might even be a property that has been in your family for generations and you do not want to have to sell it (which you may otherwise be forced to do, if you are ordered to share the value of the property with an ex-partner), should your relationship come to an end. You can agree with your partner that he or she will have no claim to it if the worst comes to the worst. You might have money set aside that you want to protect for children from a previous relationship; or financial investments, other belongings, pensions… the list goes on.

Is it too late if you’re already married? You may not have made an agreement before you got married, but have now decided, for whatever reason, that you and your existing partner would like to do so. While you can’t have a pre-nup, you can enter into a similar agreement – called a ‘post-nup’ (i.e., after the wedding) – which works on the same principles.

The pre-nup covers financial matters; any asset, however big or small, can be included. You can add to or amend the agreement, provided that it is done formally and legally, and by agreement with all parties concerned. You cannot, however, include arrangements for any children – this can only be done (either by agreement or by court order) if you and your partner do wish to end your relationship.

How do you set up a pre-nup? What happens when you get divorced, if you have a prenuptial agreement? These and other questions will be in my next blogs – watch this space! But if you can’t wait to find out, contact Andrew Isaacs Solicitors, who can deal with all your pre-nup and divorce queries. Just give us a call.