Increasing number of enquiries about prenuptial agreements

By Lenore Rice

Divorce and family law solicitors are reporting an increase in the number of people making enquiries about pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements.

There are a number of reasons why someone might want to make a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement to set out how assets should be separated in the event of a divorce. The more popular reasons include:

  • Spouses who are both bringing a lot of wealth to the marriage at the outset, or who perhaps have their own business.
  • Spouses who have involvement in family businesses or an entitlement to a family owned asset that they want to protect.
  • One of the spouses unexpectedly comes into money.
  • Spouses who have children from a previous marriage who want to ensure they are protected.
  • Younger couples who are receiving financial assistance from one or both sets of their parents in order to purchase a property. The parents making the gift might often insist that a pre-nuptial agreement is put in place to protect the money they have gifted in the event of a divorce.

Pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements are still not legally binding in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, but courts have demonstrated a much greater willingness to enforce them in the past couple of years. They can however intervene if they feel that the agreement is unfairly weighted towards one spouse over the other, or if they feel it was signed under duress.

If you require legal advice from a divorce solicitor in Northern Ireland in respect of a pre-nuptial agreement or other matter in connection with a separation, contact Wilson Nesbitt in Bangor or Belfast by clicking here.