Are prenuptial agreements legal in the UK?
A prenuptial agreement is a legal agreement in the United Kingdom.
Nothing in UK law that says you cannot seek to protect your property on divorce by having a properly-drafted prenuptial agreement.
They are not contrary to UK law nor are they, in the opinion of most people, contrary to public policy.
Such agreements, like any other form of legal contract, need to be properly drawn up and follow the legal rules governing any other kind of contract but there is no doubt that prenuptial agreements are recognized by UK law and are now increasingly taken into account by courts in UK divorce proceedings.
Are prenuptial agreements enforceable in the UK?
Yes, UK prenuptial agreements are enforceable provided they are properly entered into and there is no overriding reason that would prevent the court from adopting the provisions of the agreement.
People often think that it is not worth getting a prenuptial agreement because it will not be enforceable in the United Kingdom.
In fact, this is quite wrong. The UK courts are increasingly disposed to adopt provisions of prenuptial agreements – UK policy is now broadly to enforce these provisions provided that they do not conflict with the Section 25 criteria and would not lead to an unjust result.
This means that the court does have complete discretion in applying the terms of a prenuptial agreement and will only enforce it to the extent the court considers that it is equitable to adopt the agreement in the specific circumstances of any given case.
Nevertheless, the UK courts will take prenuptial agreements into account and are increasingly likely to apply some, or all, of the provisions in determining an overall financial settlement.
For this reason, it is extremely important to have a properly drawn up prenuptial agreement tailored to your specific requirements to stand at the very best chance of achieving an asset split on divorce that is in accordance with your interests and expectations.