A pre-nuptial agreement is a contract entered into by a couple before marriage, which aims to clarify how their assets will be divided in the event of divorce.
The law relating to pre-nuptial agreements is under review and there are calls to make them legally binding; there have been recent cases where the pre-nup has come into play during UK legal proceedings.
Even though they are generally not enforced in the divorce courts they may, however, be taken into consideration by a judges.
A pre-nup gives each person the chance to record their assets as they stand before marriage, and decide on a division of assets should the marriage break down.
Extra clauses may also be added to determine other factors, for example the custody of pets, shared possessions etc.
A family law solicitor should draw up a pre-nuptial agreement.
Recently, post-nuptial agreements have attracted attention following a landmark legal case. A post-nup allows a couple to set out the division of assets during their marriage - not before like pre-nup - if they were to divorce. It is a popular idea for those who, for example, inherit money while they are married.
Post-nups also apply to couples who have decided to divorce but not yet begun proceedings meaning that, in theory, couples can try to settle their own terms rather than leaving it to the courts.