Duncan Bannatyne says prenups should be the norm

By Lenore Rice

Millionaire Duncan Bannatyne, a regular on the TV show Dragon's Den, believes that getting a prenuptial agreement should become "as much a part of the wedding planning as hiring a venue or choosing flowers".

Mr Bannatyne speaks from experience, with two divorces under his the belt, the latter of which he has described as a "bruising experience" that had him "back to living on credit cards." He is prohibited from discussing the details of his last divorce settlement but has made it clear in no uncertain terms that he has had to pay a significant sum to his ex-wife, saying the legal fees alone cost him £4million.

Mr Bannatyne told the Telegraph that his fortune has diminished significantly, and that in hindsight he should have got a prenuptial agreement "for no other reason than to protect [his] children's inheritance". He says he will "insist" on a prenup if he ever re-marries.

Prenuptial agreements are very much like Wills - most people come to understand the value of them when it is too late. There is a common element to both in that they require us to contemplate the worst, whether it be that our new marriage might one day come to an end, or in the case of Wills, that there will come a day when we are no longer here.

One common misconception about prenuptial agreements is that you have to be wealthy to make one, but people often fail to envisage the wealth they might obtain during their marriage, perhaps as part of an investment or venture which started before their wedding, but only bears fruit years later. There may also be a family inheritance in the line, and the lack of a prenuptial agreement could mean that the money or property left to you goes straight into the financial pot considered during your divorce.

While it would be easy to dismiss Mr Bannatyne's comments that a prenuptial agreement should form part of the regular wedding preparations, it does strike at the most difficult element of making a prenuptial agreement - how do you bring it up with your partner. Prenuptial agreements are still fairly new in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, and as such are still considered by many to be 'planning for failure'. It is understandably not the most popular conversation a couple could have. The more normal and routine prenups become, which they will with time, the less stigma will be attached to them, and we may one day reach the point when they are viewed as part of all the other wedding planning necessities.

If you require legal advice in respect of a prenuptial agreement or separation from a divorce solicitor in Northern Ireland, contact Wilson Nesbitt by calling 0800 840 1363. Or submit your details for a callback by clicking here.