Same-Sex Prenuptial Agreements & Why They’re Not Just for Celebs

A prenuptial agreement is when a couple decides how to split their individual and mutual assets should the relationship end after they’re married.

If you're already married, you can sign a postnuptial agreement.

If you're not married, you can sign a cohabitation agreement. 

Marriage changes your rights. It's important to understand that before you take your vows. Few people expect their relationship to break down but almost half of UK marriages end in divorce.  For cohabiting couples, separation without an agreement in place boils down to a division of assets based on who owns what. Simpler, perhaps, but unlikely to be satisfactory to both parties if the relationship lasted many years. 

Marriage changes things.  

The law sees married couples more as combined units than two individuals.  It bestows on this 'unit' financial, familial and legal rights that should make being in that relationship easier.  It should make separation easier, too, but this often isn't the case.

Family assets will usually be divided equally in a divorce.  This isn't set in stone, however, as the court will take into consideration any children under 18 and any additional circumstances as to why that isn't fair.  This is a super-simplified explanation BUT the point is that if one partner feels they've contributed more to the relationship financially, then battle lines can spring up everywhere: through bank accounts, children, properties, personal items and businesses. 

Divorce and separation can be very messy. Prenups provide a framework devised when individuals were clearer headed. They offer a guideline to how finances should be divided.  It could save you a headache further down the line. 

A prenuptial agreement isn’t just something that celebrities do, and it shouldn’t be seen as unromantic or as a sign that the marriage is doomed.  You might take out travel insurance when you go abroad but that doesn’t mean you want to use it; it’s just there if you need it.

Prenuptial Agreements for Same-Sex Couples

A prenuptial agreement makes sense for same-sex couples.  Gay couples are marrying later in life. They've already accumulated their own wealth: property, pets, possessions, finances etc.  Whatever your sexuality, the older you marry the more there is to lose in a divorce. 

Prenups aren't about saying this is MINE and this is YOURS.  It’s about clarifying that neither person is marrying for money. 

Prenups aren’t legally binding in England and Wales BUT family courts will often uphold them so long as they were drawn up fairly by a qualified solicitor with due consideration for any children born before or after the agreement was signed. 

Radmacher verses Granatino

The reason that courts will often come down on the side of a prenuptial agreement is thanks to the 2010 Radmacher verses Granatino court case. The court upheld a prenuptial agreement even though it wasn't legally binding in the UK. It set a precedent within the British legal system.

The hardest part about getting a prenup will be the conversation before you get one. Talking about money can feel awkward especially if it looks like you're trying to protect your assets. It can look insensitive to the other person. The easiest thing to do is have the conversation early in the relationship and make sure that the prenup is designed to protect everyone. When we're in love our heart often rules our head but a prenup is the one thing we can do to protect ourselves and our loved ones in the (hopefully) unlikely event of divorce. 

Looking for your perfect LGBTQ-friendly wedding venue or service provider?  Search the Pink Wedding Days directory and say 'I do' to your dream day. 


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