Getting married in 2024?

Is 2024 your year for getting married?

If the answer is yes, have you considered a pre-nuptial agreement?

A pre-nuptial agreement is a document created pre marriage or civil partnership in which a couple sets out how they wish their assets to be divided in the event of divorce. This may cover: savings, property, income, inheritance and debts; whether they are acquired individually or jointly, before or during the marriage

Although they are not legally binding in UK law they are certainly worthwhile in the event of a disagreement upon separation/divorce.

Judges have expressed fears that if they were binding, it would open the door to one party being disadvantaged when the time came, perhaps many years later, for financial settlement following divorce.

Although a Judge can not enforce an Agreement he can add weight to what has been agreed. The legal position is moving in the direction of acceptance.

Account will also be taken of the fairness in the circumstances that have arisen over the years, by the time of the financial settlement and also the capacity of the weaker party to have said no at the time.

Are they enforceable?

Of paramount importance are the provisions for the welfare of children in the family under the age of eighteen. Then, in order to determine how the assets of the marriage are split, the court will consider:

  • the financial resources available to each party
  • their financial needs, obligations and responsibilities
  • the standard of living of the family before the breakdown of the marriage
  • the age of each party and the duration of the marriage
  • physical or mental disabilities of either party
  • he contributions which each party have made to the family. including looking after the home or caring for the children
  • the value to either party of any benefit which they would lose the chance of acquiring (pensions)

Will they be upheld?

Before entering into an agreement ensure the following are adhered too:

  • it must be at least 28 days before marriage
  • there must be no pressure or duress to sign
  • full disclosure of both parties’ assets must be made
  • the agreement should be fair and realistic
  • provisions should be made for children, alive or yet to be born.

The agreement may be disregarded by court if there is deemed to have been a change of circumstance which renders it inappropriate.

It is also advisable to periodically review your Agreement.

For further advise and assistance please contact Kirsty Tighe, Head of Family Law on 0191 297 0011 or via email at