Wedding Season is Upon us!

The dos and don’ts of pre-nuptial agreements

Pre-nuptial agreements have been popular with couples where at least one of them wants to preserve significant inherited family wealth, a business or to provide for children from their first marriage when entering into a second marriage. Today, more people preparing to marry for the first time after having created their own wealth or been assisted to do so by family, perhaps because of the increased cost of buying their first family home, also want to know how they can protect themselves from contentious financial claims if the marriage breaks down. We have some useful tips for those who have or are planning to say “I do”:


  • Discuss your assets with your partner and make sure that you agree what will be separate property and what will be joint property, including any inheritance or business assets.
  • Review whether you own any real estate in your sole names or jointly as either joint tenants or tenants in common. If you have a declaration of trust in place, you will need to provide details to your solicitor.
  • Decide how you will be responsible for any finances, including debts or liabilities, in the event of separation.
  • Contact different solicitors at least three months before the wedding. The agreement needs to be drafted, negotiated, finalised and signed by all parties (including your respective solicitors) a minimum of 28 days before the wedding.
  • Book an appointment for either before or just after the wedding to review your Will, or to create one if you don’t already have one.



  • Leave it too late to broach the subject with your partner. You will both need time to discuss things privately before obtaining separate legal advice. We recommend starting the discussions at least 6 months before your wedding.
  • Hide your assets. A pre-nuptial agreement is less likely to be considered valid if parties have not exchanged full and frank disclosure of their assets.
  • Pin down child maintenance or contact arrangements. This is something that would be agreed or determined at the time of separation.
  • Ringfence everything you own if the resulting financial inequality would be deemed unfair and so risk the agreement not being applied.
  • Pressure your partner into signing the pre-nuptial agreement. If a party is subjected to undue influence when signing the agreement, it is unlikely to be upheld.

If you are interested in entering into a pre-nuptial agreement, or want to know more, contact us at 01622 698000 to speak to a member of the family team.