Increase in blended families sees rise in pre-nups

More people planning their second, third or fourth wedding are entering into pre-nuptial agreements with their future spouse, a family lawyer has revealed.

Step-families or blended families are the one of the fastest growing types of families in the UK making up about a third of all UK households.

Older people who have previously had a bad experience and are looking to re-marry are among those most commonly seeking a pre-nup.

Kate Booth, Head of Family and Matrimonial at Brindley Twist Tafft and James, which operates in Coventry and Warwickshire, said over recent years the importance of pre-nups has grown. Historically they were not binding, but now they will hold sway in court when it can be shown that the agreement is fair to both parties. Both need to have had ample opportunity to seek independent legal advice, the agreement needs to be signed by both parties well in advance of the marriage and both parties must have given full disclosure about their personal finances before the marriage took place.

Kate said:

“With all these things together the court will recognise that the pre-nuptial agreement was entered into together and in that case, it can be binding.

“Where it can get complicated is when circumstances change – for example if children come along. In cases such as these it is all about reviewing and updating any initial agreement, so it remains relevant to the present-day family situation.”

More than just factoring in financial situations a pre-nup offers the opportunity to look at the whole picture, taking all assets into account, ranging from family businesses to pets.

She added:

“There may be someone with his or her own business or they may have a part of their family business. In this instance pre-nups are a useful tool to avoid a former spouse from staking a claim.”



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