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How to make a Prenuptial agreement (prenup)

For use in England and Wales only.

Make this prenuptial agreement before getting married or entering into a civil partnership to set out how property will be owned.

Recently reviewed by Adnan Mahmood, Solicitor and Head of Legal, UK. 

This prenuptial agreement was last reviewed on 24 November 2022.

A prenuptial agreement is an agreement between two people before they get married or enter into a civil partnership. It sets out the property and money that belong to each person before the marriage or civil partnership and clarifies what is intended to remain the property of that person after the ceremony and even after the marriage/civil partnership itself.

If you and your future spouse or civil partner have assets which each of you would like to own as individuals rather than jointly, record these assets in a prenup. This will ensure that any assets, be it property, cash or heirlooms owned prior to marriage or civil partnership will be owned by the individual and not jointly. This premarital or pre-civil agreement covers situations where both parties have taken independent legal advice.

Use this prenup if you:

  • are getting married or entering into a civil partnership
  • both want to agree that assets owned separately will remain in separate names
  • both want that liabilities owed separately will remain in separate names
  • both want to agree that neither of you will have any claim against the other for maintenance or support if the marriage or partnership breaks down
  • both agree to complete this agreement and have been honest about your finances and property
  • both have taken independent legal advice

This prenuptial agreement (prenup) covers:

  • details of the couple (eg names, addresses and where they are domiciled)

  • details of the couple’s relationship (eg when their relationship started and if they are currently living together)

  • details of any children (ie children the parties have together or children they have from previous relationships)

  • details of any previous divorces

  • property and money owned individually by those getting married or a civil partnership that is to remain theirs if the marriage breaks down

  • liabilities owed individually by those getting married or a civil partnership that is to remain theirs if the marriage breaks down

  • an agreement that neither party will have any claim against the other for maintenance or support if the marriage or partnership breaks down

  • property acquired after the marriage or partnership will be divided as the couple agree or as ordered by a court

  • confirmation that the couple have entered into the agreement freely, and have both taken independent legal advice, including a certificate of independent specialist legal adviser and a relevant statement for both party

A prenuptial agreement (prenup) is used where two parties wish to set out what will happen to their premarital or pre-civil partnership assets in the event of a divorce or dissolution. If you would like for your prenup to include specific provisions (eg in relation to pensions and debts) not currently covered by the document, Ask a lawyer for further assistance.

If you intend to get married or enter into a civil partnership and want to keep previously acquired assets, such as property separate then you can record this in a prenup.

For more information, read Making a prenup and Managing personal relationships.

Yes - this document can be used for both marriages and civil partnerships.

Prenuptial agreements are not currently legally binding in England and Wales. However in most cases, the court will be persuaded to uphold a prenuptial agreement provided it:

  • has been properly drawn up
  • has been properly executed, and
  • meets certain safeguards (eg the parties having made full and frank discloure of their respective financial positions.)

Agreements which comply with these safeguards and conditions are referred to as ‘qualifying nuptial agreements’ or 'QNA' by the Law Commission and will be enforceable in most cases. This means that where a prenup is a QNA, the courts are prevented from making financial orders inconsistent with the agreement, except in a limited number of circumstances (eg to make a decision in the interest of a child).

For more information, read How to make a prenuptial agreement.

You should seek independent legal advice and prepare full disclosure of your respective financial positions before signing a prenuptial agreement. You must think carefully about the terms and make the agreement as precise, clear and detailed as possible.

You can use Rocket Lawyer’s independent legal advice service for prenuptial agreements to meet the advice requirement.

In the description of assets, you must disclose all of your previously acquired assets and you must not withhold any valuable possessions or goods. If you don't, the agreement may be invalid.

Similarly, in the description of liabilities, you must disclose all of your liabilities (eg debts). You should not withhold any of your liabilities as this may invalidate the agreement.

Any assets acquired after marriage or civil partnership will be divided by agreement or judicial determination should there be a breakdown of the marriage or civil partnership.

Similarly, liabilities acquired after marriage or civil partnership will be the responsibility of both parties. This will typically remain the case even after a breakdown of the marriage or civil partnership.

The certificate of independent specialist legal adviser is completed by a solicitor or barrister, confirming that they provided independent legal advice on the prenup to one person getting married. This certificate is completed as part of the parties seeking independent legal advice prior to signing the prenup.

You can use Rocket Lawyer’s independent legal advice service for prenuptial agreements to seek the necessary advice. The lawyer assisting you will complete the certificate once they have advised you on your situation. This includes:

  • confirming whether the adviser is a solicitor or barrister

  • recording their name in the space provided

  • recording the name of their firm in the space provided, and

  • recording their firm’s address in the space provided

The relevant statement is completed by each party and confirms that they received independent legal advice before signing the prenuptial agreement. By signing, they also confirm that they understand the term of the prenup and its effect on them.

Once each party has sought independent legal advice, they should, in the space provided, record the: 

  • name of the legal adviser

  • the name of the legal adviser’s firms, and

  • the address of the firm

Ask a lawyer for advice if:

  • you want to set out that no party can attain any beneficial interest in property owned solely by one party
    you want to set out that, if any party incurs a liability against joint property without the consent of the other, they will be solely liable for that liability
  • you have unequal assets because there could be an argument that one party felt 'forced' into making the agreement (if both take independent legal advice this claim is unlikely to be successful)
  • you want to take legal advice before entering into this agreement
  • you wish to work out any maintenance payments in advance
  • you are not resident in England or Wales (eg Scotland)

This prenup is written in accordance with the law of England and Wales.

Other names for Prenuptial agreement (prenup)

Prenup, Pre-marriage contract, Qualifying nuptial agreement, QNA.