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One in ten couples regret not having a pre-nup

A new survey suggests that as many as one in ten married people in the UK wish they had asked their partner to sign a pre-nuptial agreement.
The figures are much higher in London, where around 20 per cent of married people express regret at not having a pre-nup. Elsewhere in the country, though, it is far lower – in the north, for example, the figure is only five per cent.
The findings confirm the emerging picture that marriage remains a popular form of relationship, but that couples no longer take it for granted or consider it the default way to express commitment or raise a family, as was the case as recently as twenty or thirty years ago. Although marriage rates have declined considerably in that period of time, divorce rates have also levelled off and started to drop. Cohabitation has been established as by far the most popular form of first live-in relationship – something that carries its own complexities from a legal standpoint, since rights within a cohabiting relationship are more limited than those enjoyed within marriage.
Moreover, those who enter a second marriage are far more circumspect. “We’ve recently seen a three-fold increase in demand for pre-marital agreements – more than we ever had before,” comments one family law specialist. “In many instances it’s in preparation for a second marriage, where it’s a case of ‘once bitten, twice shy’. And I think people nowadays are just very conscious about the cost of a divorce. Everyone will have seen the recent high profile cases in the press which involved huge sums being spent on legal fees.”
The survey found that people from all walks of life were interested in signing a pre-nup. The main reasons given for not having one was that their partner refused, followed by uncertainty about how to get one, and being too nervous to ask their partner.
It is important to take detailed advice at an early stage for the preparation of an agreement. Atherton Godfrey can assist with that. Both parties will need to provide financial disclosure and have separate legal advice. It is preferable for the agreement to be signed at least a month before the marriage so please consult us several weeks before to ensure that all relevant issues can be explored. We will discuss with you all the information/documents we will need. We will provide you with a cost estimate at the first meeting once we have taken more information and so there are no hidden costs for you to worry about.

Are you considering a pre-nup or going through a divorce or separation? Talk to us. We are experienced family law specialists and can give you the expert advice you need. Call 01302 320621 or email

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