Christmas proposals & pre-nuptial agreements

Other than February 14th, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are among the most popular days of the year for marriage proposals.

And if you’re one of those lucky couples planning on getting engaged over this festive period, firstly a huge CONGRATULATIONS! We wish you health, wealth, happiness and every success in your future lives together.

Yet whilst not as romantic as a sparkling engagement ring, ‘wealth’ and ‘future’ are pretty prominent key words here. What happens if things don’t quite work out as well as you’d planned?

Nobody knows what the future holds and while everyone hopes that their relationship will stand the test of time, there is never any guarantee.

It’s sad to think about what might go wrong even before you start your lives together; and it’s unlikely that a prenuptial agreement finds its way onto many people’s Christmas wish list. But planning one now could prove to be a very sensible, practical gift to each other and could save many a headache and blazing argument down the line.

Prenuptial agreements (more commonly referred to as pre-nups) used to be reserved for the rich and famous. However, there is a growing realisation that they can also be useful to couples with more modest means who are keen to protect their interests before marrying or entering into a civil partnership.

Why might I need a pre-nup?

There are a number of reasons why a pre-nup can be considered useful.
– Perhaps you are entering the marriage with a significant inheritance or pension pot to consider?
– Maybe your personal wealth is tied into a family business?
– Perhaps you own your own property or have savings or investments?
– You want to ensure that children from a previous relationship/marriage will be well looked after should this marriage break down?

Are pre-nups legally binding?

There is a misconception that it’s not worth investing a pre-nup for fear it won’t be upheld. Yet provided it’s drawn up by someone who knows what they are doing, such as an experienced family law solicitor, the reality is quite the opposite. The courts in England and Wales will generally take the terms of a properly drawn-up pre-nuptial agreement into account when deciding how assets should be divided subject to certain criteria being met.

How do you agree the terms of a pre-nup?

One way is to sit down with your partner and agree things civilly between yourselves. However, this can be inherently difficult, particularly if you are the wealthier party. And if you agree you will still need to seek legal advice to draw up a legal binding agreement.

The very best way of ensuring that you have a pre-nup in place that suits your own set of circumstances is to talk to an experienced solicitor like Nicholas Clough. Nicholas is Price Slater Gawne’s specialist family law solicitor and collaborative lawyer and has with a wealth of expertise in advising clients on the subtle ways of approaching the subject of a pre nuptial agreement and ensuring that your intentions will be followed. He will advise you on all the implications that a marriage or civil partnership will have on your financial arrangements.

And our services don’t stop there. Whilst you’re talking turkey (excuse the pun), you might also take the opportunity to update your wills and think about any other consequences your marriage may have on your relationship, as part of a general financial discussion. Our wills, trust and probate solicitor Laura Bywater is only an email or phone call away.

Should you find yourself in need of pre-nup advice this Christmas or into the new year, contact us in confidence and privacy on 0161 615 5554 or email us on We can offer appointments at our Altrincham offices or at a location to suit you.