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Pre Nuptial Agreements Pre Nups In The UK

by Jim ONeil on January 13, 2011

in Personal Finance News

To date, the pre-nuptial agreement has been shunned by the UK due to thoughts it goes against public policy. In addition, it was thought that many women could sign away important benefits because they believe their husbands-to-be were rich but didn’t know how rich. It seems the tides are now changing.

Pre-nups have long been popular in the U.S., especially in community property states like California. With the very wealthy, there are usually not many problems if no pre-nup is present because after a certain number of millions, the money becomes irrelevant. This issue comes in the form of small to medium sized businesses, of which the spouse receives 50 percent ownership upon divorce.

The result of this unfortunate situation is that the initial business owner can fall victim to the new partner. In cases where the spouse who started the business attempts a buy-out, the price can be steep. Situations like this point to the usefulness of having a pre-nup. Wales and England have claimed their courts will take pre-nuptial agreement content into account but will not regard it as binding in court.

The Law Commission has now decided that the idea of the pre-nup needs to be revisited. It has issued a consultation paper regarding the topic. Some of the most important wording is contained in the

preamble, stating that a pre-nuptial agreement is not enforceable unless the financial situation of one party has been revealed to the other on which the agreement is attempting to be enforced.

Those who are cynical of such terms see an opportunity for revenue officers to do off-the-record work when they are not able to find evidence of hidden wealth through the traditional channels. While this would definitely be immoral, the resulting documentation could be produced in court as evidence. On the other hand, the interests of the spouse in the dark would be better protected.


It would seem there should be a way for high income earners to establish a legal document that would protect their estate in event of this type of happening. Something like a irrevocable trust, etc. I think the best approach for people in these income brackets would be to plan for the worst and hope for the best.


Guys and Gals, the Childrens act states that “the childs welfare is paramount” and some really weird decisions have been made based on that some principle. Equally, we all know that Pre-nups are not worth the paper they are written on here, and the courts regularly take expectations into account as well as actualities.


If love were priceless No pre-nups would be needed Lovers would just stay


I don't believe arranged marriages are recognized as legally-binding contracts in the UK, but perhaps something like pre-nuptial agreements could conceivably be based in religious laws and require legally-binding arbitration rather than typical civil proceedings.

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