CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hertfordshire Life today CLICK HERE

Is a prenup on your wedding checklist?

PUBLISHED: 09:45 18 February 2016 | UPDATED: 09:56 18 February 2016

Prenuptials are very common

Prenuptials are very common


Pre-nuptial agreements have been around since ancient Egyptian times and are used to protect assets you bring into a marriage

Post Christmas and New Year, many newly engaged couples will be starting to plan their big day – set the date, find the venue, book the caterers - the list goes on. But what about adding a pre-nuptial agreement to your wedding plans?

Pre-nuptial agreements have been around since ancient Egyptian times. A 2,400 year old scroll confirmed a wife would receive “1.2 pieces of silver and 36 bags of grain” in the event of a separation. Things have moved on since then but the intention remains the same; to protect any assets you might bring into a marriage, set out who is responsible for any debts and who keeps any property you might own, should the marriage break down. They are particularly helpful where there is a significant imbalance in the wealth of the individuals getting married.

With the rise of people getting married later in life and second or subsequent marriages, it makes sense to protect assets (such as property, possessions or savings) that have been built up over many years or perhaps inherited.

If your child is planning their wedding and they stand to inherit significant family wealth, you may want to suggest a pre-nuptial agreement. Whilst not an easy subject to approach, it can lead to a far more harmonious relationship with both families after the excitement of the wedding is over.

Whereas some may view this as unromantic, pre-nuptial agreements provide certainty, financial security and protection at a time when emotions may be running high.

Whilst the law does not specifically recognise pre-nuptial agreements, following a case in 2010 they will uphold them if they are entered into freely and those involved understood what they were doing.

To ensure a pre-nuptial agreement is valid both parties have to seek separate legal advice and give disclosure of their assets and incomes to each other. Any agreements have to be signed at least twenty-one days before their marriage to avoid any possible arguments that one party to the marriage was placed under duress and forced to sign it.

Couples are under no obligation to enter into a pre-nuptial agreement. However if you have wealth to protect, it is far more cost effective to spend a small sum of money sorting out financial arrangements before the big day than it is to argue over the division of marital assets in court on a divorce.

Belinda StrangeBelinda Strange

For more information or advice please contact:

Belinda Strange, Senior Associate Solicitor

Debenhams Ottaway

01727 738250,,

Debenhams OttawayDebenhams Ottaway


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hertfordshire visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hertfordshire staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hertfordshire account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Hertfordshire Life

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Indulge in the very best of pub classics every Wednesday night at The Black Horse.

Read more
Friday, November 2, 2018

It’s that time of year again and we have our special T-BONE steak offer!

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

From Hertford to Flanders, a young army chaplain kept a vivid record of his experiences in the First World War. Sarah Reay tells her grandfather’s remarkable story

Read more
November 2018
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, so we’ve gathered some Remembrance Day events taking place in the county

Read more
November 2018
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

If you’re looking for things to do in Hertfordshire this month, we have gathered lots of events for November 2018

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

We quiz author Kevin Exley about his new book that takes the reader on the trail of fascinating stories, new and old, around Berkhamsted

Read more
October 2018
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

A trailblazer nearly 30 years ago, this Hertford Thai restaurant is on the cusp of reinvention

Read more
November 2018
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Nothing beats wrapping up warm and heading out to see a bonfire and fireworks display. We have gathered 18 places in Hertfordshire to see a dazzling performance

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

We mark the centenary of the First World War Armistice with an account of its impact on the county many would not see again

Read more
November 2018
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

A new three-day festival promising to meet all your Christmas needs takes place at Knebworth this month

Read more
November 2018

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search