What Cannot be Included in a Prenup in the UK?

Our expertise in family law, particularly the issues around divorce and children disputes, means that the Higgins Miller solicitors are ideally placed to advise anyone who is thinking of creating a prenup UK before getting married. As we explained in a previous article, a prenup UK is a legal document setting out what will happen to assets which each party brought into the marriage with them if the marriage subsequently ends in divorce. Although a prenup UK is not yet a legally binding document, experience has taught us that a prenup UK which has been created in a clear, fair and balanced manner is likely to be used by the court as a basis for a financial settlement following a divorce. For this reason it’s vitally important to take legal advice before drawing up a prenup UK, and to understand exactly what can and can’t be included.

In order for a prenup UK to be taken seriously by the courts it has to comply with some strict rules. The first of these is that both parties to the prenup need to have taken independent legal advice before creating it, and neither must have been pressured in any way to do so. In addition, a prenup UK will only be taken seriously if a full and detailed financial disclosure of all assets and other details has been provided by both parties prior to the prenup UK being created. In addition, the prenup needs to have been created no fewer than 21 days before the date of the wedding itself. 

Amongst the kind of details commonly included in a prenup UK will be the assets of both parties, including savings, stock and shares and money held in accounts. A prenup should also state what will happen to the family home following a divorce, how any debts built up by either partner during the marriage will be dealt with and what the children from previous relationships will be entitled to in the event of a divorce. 

With the help of the experts at Higgins Miller you’ll be able to create a prenup UK that will be taken as a basis for a financial agreement if you ever need to go to court to reach such an agreement. We will also point out what can’t be included in a prenup UK

We’ve already listed the technical issues which need to be covered if a prenup is to be taken seriously by the court. If it has not been drafted properly, signed by genuinely independent witnesses and created after the process of full financial disclosure then a prenup UK may well be void. It could also be void if it includes things which are explicitly not allowed to be included in a prenup. These include the following:

  • Matters relating to the custody of any children, such as where they will live, what level of access each parent will have and how questions on issues such as religion and education will be dealt with
  • Matters relating to the amount of maintenance that either parent will pay toward the upkeep and support of any children
  • Matters which are illegal in nature
  • Matters which refer to the lifestyle of either party
  • Matters which are strictly personal in nature and fall outside the financial remit of a prenup

Because a prenup UK is a fairly wide ranging document, and can be tailored to suit the circumstances of each particular couple, people are often tempted to try and include details which are not allowed. Our job as legal experts will be to guide you toward only including the kind of details which a court will expect to see, so that the prenup UK that you create can offer the maximum peace of mind. 

If you’d like to find out more about a prenup please call us on 0161 429 7251 or email us at [email protected]. We’ve recently passed our Cyber Essential accreditation, something which demonstrates our forward-thinking attitude and determination to remain ahead of the competition. The first 20-minute appraisal is provided free of charge, and we’ll give you the first appointment for a fixed fee, so you don’t have to worry about how much our advice is going to cost. If you want to explore our wider charging system then please take a look here.


September 4, 2023

General, Uncategorized