A Pre-Nuptial agreement is basically an agreement made by a couple before they marry, about what happens to the ownership of their respective assets should the marriage fail. If your marriage ends in Divorce or Separation, a pre-existing agreement which sets out the terms of this separation such as a Pre-Nuptial Agreement, can be considered by the court. In Ireland, ‘pre-nups’ are not recognised as being fully enforceable, but neither are they illegal. A pre-nup will certainly be taken into account by the court, and can indeed alter the outcome, depending on the circumstances of your case at the time of Divorce.
Why would I need a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?
Pre-Nups are not the sole preserve of celebrities. There are many reasons why you may consider drawing one up before you marry, such as:
- You own a family farm, and you want it to stay in the family
- You own a long established business – particularly a family business
- Or you’re just plain wealthy….
How will the Irish courts view your Pre-Nup?
The Courts will look at the issue of ‘intention’ i.e. what you and your spouse were aiming to achieve at the time you signed the pre-nuptial agreement. They may then use the pre-nup as a guide in dividing assets on Divorce. The weight given to the pre-nup will be depend on whether it was signed with the benefit of full disclosure i.e. that both of you knew the full picture about the finances, and that you both obtained independent legal advice. In deciding whether to follow the pre-nup the court will also be heavily influenced by the situation you are both facing at the time of Divorce e.g. are there children now? Is one of you suffering ill health? The issue of dependency of children or spouses is a critical one.
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FROM OUR BLOG:
PRE-NUPTIAL AGREEMENTS IN IRELAND
You don’t have to be a celebrity to think about pre-nuptial agreements before you get married. Although we generally tend to associate pre-nups with the super-rich and famous there are lots of reasons why more ‘ordinary folk’ might think of asking their fiancé to enter into one. So what are they?
- If you are the owner of a family farm
- If you are the owner of a long established business – particularly a family business
- Or if you are just plain wealthy….
What status do Pre-Nuptial Agreements have in Irish Law?
In Ireland, ‘pre-nups’ are not recognised as being fully enforceable, but neither are they illegal. If you are unfortunate and your marriage subsequently ends in Divorce or Separation, a pre-existing agreement which sets out the terms of this separation, can be considered by the court. It will certainly be a factor which is taken into account, and can indeed alter the outcome, depending on the circumstances of your case at the time of Divorce. >> Read more….