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Are Generation 'Z' more likely to demand a pre-nup?

View profile for Lucy Birch
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Generation ‘Z’ refers to those born from 1996 onwards, the generation following millennials. A recent YouGov survey suggests that this generation is more likely to take a pragmatic approach to marriage and protect their assets by signing a pre-nuptial agreement.

The results of the survey indicate that 42% of women between the ages of 18 and 24 would sign a pre-nup, compared to 36% of men in the same age group. It was traditionally the view that pre-nuptial agreements were only entered into by the rich and famous. However, they are increasingly used nowadays by clients with more modest assets, to protect an asset(s) that they have worked hard for prior to getting married and that they understandably want to protect.

The leading authority on pre-nups is a case decided in the Supreme Court almost a decade ago, Radmacher v Granatino. This case sets out the circumstances in which a prenuptial agreement should be binding. At present, pre-nups are not strictly legally binding and the family courts have a wide discretion when deciding financial matters.

In 2014, the Law Commission recommended that, with some conditions, couples should be able to enter binding agreements that are legally enforceable. There is currently a Bill before the House of Commons. If passed, the Bill would mean that both pre and post-nuptial agreements would become legally binding, dependent again on a number of conditions, like many other countries.

However, a word of warning! The current President of the Supreme Court, Baroness Hale, is not in favour of this proposal. She believes this risks destroying the “social security system of a family”. Baroness Hale raises concerns about the inability to predict the future. A “one size fits all” approach simply does not work when it comes to families, particularly nowadays when the traditional idea of a family has evolved significantly.

If you would like some further legal advice on pre-nuptial agreements please do not hesitate to contact us.

Our family lawyers offer a free, no obligation 15 minute chat. I am based in our Colchester office and can be contacted on 01206 217378 or lucy.birch@birkettlong.co.uk. Alternatively, you can complete our online enquiry form.

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