Roses are red, violets are blue, should I sign a prenuptial agreement before saying I do?

Valentine’s day is a day of romance and love is in the air but, if you are planning to pop the question today don’t forget these words ‘prenup, prenup, prenup’.

It was once thought that prenuptial agreements were only for the rich and famous, however, times have changed. Increasingly those with modest means are turning to solicitors for advice about prenups.

A common question asked is whether a prenuptial agreement is worth the paper it is written on? The Courts have addressed this with the guidance below;

The law relating to prenuptial agreements has developed following a Supreme Court decision in Radmacher and Granatino in October 2010. In this case the Supreme Court said that the court should give effect to a prenuptial agreement that is freely entered into by each party with a full appreciation of the implications unless in the circumstances prevailing it would not be fair to hold the parties to the agreement.

Following on from this decision on 27 February 2014 the Law Commission published a report, Matrimonial Property, Needs and Agreements. Whilst it was made clear that no agreement can prevent the court from making financial orders that are inconsistent with the terms of a mutual agreement, they will be a factor of the case when a judge is deciding what financial orders to make on divorce.

Many people are apprehensive about asking their future spouse to enter a prenuptial agreement. The sentiment of ‘nothing says I love you like a prenup’ is not uncommon but they are recommended as an invaluable insurance policy.

To protect your financial assets and ensure you have the best opportunity of persuading a judge the agreement should be adhered to my top tip would be to avoid the DIY approach and take professional advice from a specialist solicitor. A valid pre-nuptial agreement must satisfy strict criteria and getting this wrong can be costly mistake.

Louisa Bestford, is a specialist family lawyer in our Personal and Family department. To speak to her, contact Louisa on 0191 226 7924 or

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