Richard Hogwood, partner in the Divorce and Family team, spoke to City AM about the recent record high numbers of pre-nuptial agreements made in England and Wales, confirmed by the numbers of enquiries received by our team. The article, first published on Sunday 31 March 2024, is reproduced in full here.

As the wedding season is fast approaching, pre-nuptial agreement enquiries are hitting record highs, as couples are focusing on their assets before their big day.

A pre-nuptial is an agreement made by a couple before they marry, which sets out how they wish their assets to be divided if they should divorce.

The rise in popularity of prenups is a trend that London-based law firm Stewarts has been witnessing over recent years. The firm reports that in 2022, enquiries relating to pre-nups has increased by 51.2 per cent compared to the previous year.

The firm’s divorce and family practice highlighted that beyond prenups, financial arrangements continue to be front of mind for couples when contemplating a divorce.

The lawyers reported that concerns of this nature made up over two thirds (63 per cent) of all enquiries in January 2024 alone.

Despite the boom, prenup agreements are not legally binding in England and Wales, however, they have been regarded by the courts as persuasive and even decisive in some cases

Commenting on the stats, Richard Hogwood, partner in the divorce and family department at Stewarts noted that these figures demonstrate “a growing interest in, and awareness of, pre-nups and their effectiveness.”

He explained it “could also signal that couples are getting rather more ‘ahead of the game’ with talking about finances well ahead of summer weddings, rather than leaving it to the last minute.”

“It’s becoming more widely recognised that pre-nups are potentially weaker if they happen too close in time to the wedding. On a human level too, people can see that it is not necessarily a discussion they want to be having on the eve of their wedding day,” he added.



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