Ask Kate: Is a ‘pre-nup’ legal?

August 8, 2012

Kate Thompson has been offering heart-felt advice and sparklingly different wedding inspiration for ten years. She is married with two children, and often features in the national press. With her warm and caring nature and off-beat sense of humour, she'll answer every question with knowledgable insight and understanding to help and inspire or simply restore your peace of mind.

Q.

I am a US citizen, my fiancé is a British citizen. We are soon to be married in the US and want to establish a pre-nuptial agreement. However, we will be moving to the UK shortly thereafter.

If we are to divorce, will our pre-nuptial agreement be valid in any way?

A.

In the United Kingdom, pre-nuptial agreements have only just come to be legally recognised. The divorce courts used to have the last word in the division of all matrimonial property and would ignore any pre-nuptial agreement if they thought that it was in any way unreasonable to either of the parties
involved, particularly regarding to the maintenance and housing of children. For example, regardless of whose name a couple’s property is in, a court may order it to be transferred to the other. This applies to all property that is owned separately or jointly. These days a prenup can be worth having so yes it would be taken into account in the UK, though I certainly hope you never have to use it.

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