Glasgow: 0141 221 5562 Edinburgh: 0131 220 7660

Prenuptial Agreement Scotland - Are They Worthwhile?

Prenuptial Agreement Scotland - Are They Worthwhile?

What do you know about prenuptial agreements. Donald and Melania Trump have one, as do Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones. But what are they? Should you have prenuptial agreement. Are they enforceable in Scotland? Or are they just for the rich and famous?

There were 29,070 marriages in Scotland during 2014. Considering this, and the fact that the average age at which people marry for the first time has increased by over two years in the last decade (to 32.9 years for men and 31.0 years for women) it is perhaps not surprising that an increasing number of people are seeking legal advice prior to marriage with a view to protecting their individual assets in the event of a subsequent divorce.

What is a prenuptial agreement?

  • In basic terms, it is a contract entered into between two people who intend to marry with a view to protecting certain assets in the event of a future divorce.
  • It is an agreement where parties wish to protect assets owned by them prior to marriage, for example, for the benefit of children of a previous relationship.

Are prenuptial agreements enforceable in Scotland?

  • It is a well-fuelled myth that prenuptial agreements (also known as antenuptial agreements or marriage contracts) are not binding in Scotland.
  • The general rule is that two adults of sound mind can agree, prior to marriage, the terms of a contract determining future financial provision which cannot subsequently be varied by a court on divorce.
  • The courts generally respect an individual's right to contract in this way and would be slow to intervene. This is especially the case if both parties had obtained legal advice prior to signing the agreement, and its terms were considered fair and reasonable.

Whilst it is hoped that the majority of marriages will not fail, and the terms of prenuptial agreements will never require to be used, they provide individuals with a clear picture as to what would happen in the event of a divorce occurring. There are however, complex legal matters to be considered when drafting such an agreement and it is important that you seek advice from a lawyer with particular experience in this area as early as possible.

We have experienced prenuptial agreement lawyers in our Glasgow and Edinburgh offices. Get in touch if you'd like to discuss your circumstances further.

Cohabitation CTA draft

Written by : TC Young