Often thought to be the reserve of the rich and famous, it seems that pre and post-nuptial agreements for marrying couples are on the rise, and it’s a lot more romantic than it seems!
Until recently, nuptial agreements were usually only discussed in the realm of celebrity gossip or when referring to incredibly high net-worth individuals and while this is still true (think Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner or Will and Jayda Smith), the merits of a solid prenup has begun to filter down to a much more diverse demographic. According to the Cooperative business data, the number of clients requesting prenups has increased by over 70% since 2022, proving that the tide is turning on attitudes towards these agreements.
Data by prenup services firm Wenup also showed that the demographic spread of their customers was also changing, and it was not only the wealthy elite who were looking to protect their assets. Prenups were becoming a much more common 'pre-wedding' conversation between engaged couples and are being viewed as less ‘cynical’ and more practical, in a similar way to insurance; write it and have it on hand in the hope you don’t need to use it.
One reason for the rise in prenups can be attributed to the rising average age of couples by the time they have tied the knot, which has increased from mid-20s in the late 1990s to early 30s in 2023. As couples get older, they accumulate wealth, start businesses, and get on the property ladder as individuals, all of which would be considered should the marriage end in divorce.
As a result, engaged couples are choosing to take a more pragmatic and practical mindset when considering these assets before marriage. Some common considerations include:
- Should they own their home jointly after marriage?
- Should they share a bank account?
- Should their business be kept separate from the marriage?
- How will any pensions be dealt with?
- What if one spouse contributes more financially than the other?
A prenup, drawn up with the advice of a specialist family lawyer, gives couples with businesses or property assets the opportunity to discuss these broader implications if the relationship breaks down; they can rationally negotiate a settlement relating to any pre-marital assets if they were to separate in the future. Entering into marriage with the knowledge that hard-earned assets and business interests have been accounted for in the worst-case scenario means that couples can have peace of mind and start looking forward to the best case.
Getting advice from an experienced, specialist family lawyer is crucial to ensuring you get a prenuptial agreement that effectively looks after your best interests, should the worst happen. With Sweeney Miller’s breadth of experience across family and commercial matters, the firm works inter-departmentally to draft shareholders and partnership agreements and other necessary commercial contracts that come into play when there is a business interest in the marriage or civil partnership.
Our Family team works closely with colleagues in our busy company, commercial, and estate planning teams to advise couples on the whole range of considerations when entering a marriage or civil partnership with business assets or significant financial wealth. Our pragmatic, partner-led approach and commercial understanding provide comfort in the knowledge that your pre- or post-nuptial agreement is tailored, fair, and appropriate for your circumstances.