More Sheffield couples ‘signing pre-wedding contracts’

More couples in Sheffield are signing pre-nupital agreements before getting married, a city legal firm has claimed.

Irwin Mitchell said its family and divorce team had seen a 51 per cent increase in instructions for pre-nuptial agreements in the last quarter of the financial year for 2013-14.

A spokesman said the increase reflects the trend for more people embarking on second or third marriages and wanting to protect their assets.

The rise in enquiries comes just months after the Law Commission outlined proposals to reform the law to uphold pre-nups in the vast majority of cases. In February this year, The Law Commission set out plans to make pre-marital agreements legally binding in the majority of cases.

Zoe Round, a specialist family and divorce lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s Sheffield office, said: “There was previously some uncertainty around pre-nups and there was potential for the courts to overrule them too easily.

“The proposed amendments to the law would give them more weight as long as they were produced to a certain criteria. Only in exceptional circumstances where this criteria is not met will the courts decide not to uphold them.”