Many people might think that prenuptial agreements are only of relevance to very wealthy couples with valuable assets to argue over.
However, a recent YouGov poll asked the public to give greater thought to the idea of prenuptial agreements and decide whether they would sign a prenup in advance of their marriage if asked to by their fiancé.
What is a prenup?
A prenuptial agreement is a written agreement made between a couple before they get married to determine what will happen should the couple separate or divorce.
The agreement can cover a wide variety of subjects, including how marital assets are to be divided, and what level of financial provision will be made by one partner for the other.
The YouGov poll found that on the whole respondents were evenly split on whether they would sign a prenuptial agreement. Around 35% said they would sign an agreement if asked to, compared to 36% of people who would refuse.
According to the survey, the likelihood of someone signing a prenup is influenced by their age. People within the 18 – 39 age group were the most likely to say they would be prepared to do so.
Looking at the results in more detail, the poll found that:
- 34% of respondents in the 18 - 24 age group would be prepared to sign a prenuptial agreement if asked, and only 25% said they would not.
- 40% of the 25 - 39 age group would sign one, compared to 33% who wouldn’t.
- Looking at the slightly older respondents, 35% of those aged 40 - 59 said they would be likely to sign a prenup if asked, and 38% would say no.
- Those aged over 60 were least likely to say they would sign a prenup (30%) and most likely to say that they definitely wouldn’t (42%).
As well as age difference, the poll also found that respondents’ views on prenuptial agreements varied depending on where they lived.
Scottish respondents were the most likely to refuse to sign a prenup (46%), and only 25% of people in Scotland said they would sign one if asked by their fiancé.
Respondents with the most favourable view of prenups were to be found in London, with 38% willing to sign an agreement if asked, and 32% saying they would refuse.
The survey found that respondents shared quite strong views on the legal aspects of prenuptial agreements, with 72% saying they thought prenups should be recognised by law.
Celebrity marriages and divorces are regularly reported in the media, including details of whether they had signed a prenuptial agreement, and what the terms of the prenup were. Some recent examples of this include:
Hugh Hefner and Crystal Harris
According to the Daily Mail, 26-year-old Crystal Harris signed a prenuptial agreement before marrying 86-year-old Hugh Hefner, who has a personal fortune thought to be worth around £43 million. Under the terms of the agreement, she will reportedly be looked after in the event of a divorce, but apparently has not been added to Mr Hefner’s will.
Janet Jackson and Wissam Al Mana
Negotiations are currently underway for a prenuptial agreement between singer Janet Jackson and her fiancé Wissam Al Mana, reports the Express. Janet is worth an estimated £93.5 million, while her fiance is reportedly one of the wealthiest investors in the Middle East.