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Prenuptial agreements help protect business assets from being split and sold

What is a pre-nuptial agreement?

It is an agreement or contract entered into between two individuals who intend to marry setting out how the assets of the couple will be divided between the parties should the marriage subsequently come to an end. 


Protect assets

 These agreements attempt to protect the assets that each party brings with them to the marriage and or an attempt to plan for the division of assets in the case of divorce proceedings to determine the division of assets owned prior to the marriage and those assets acquired during the marriage.


The legal status of a pre-nuptial agreement:

Currently there is no Irish legislation surrounding per-nuptial agreements and their enforceability in Irish Law.  There is nothing in Irish Law which obliges the Court to enforce a Pre-nuptial Agreement.  Equally however there is nothing in Irish Law to prevent persons entering into marriage from signing a Pre-nuptial agreement.  


The agreement will specify the following:

• the length of the pre-nuptial contract

• division of present and future property and what will be considered separate property and jointly acquired property and the division of same

• succession act rights

• maintenance

• lump sum payments

• pensions

• indemnity for debts

• costs

• proper law and jurisdiction

• review

Protect Business in a Divorce 


By using a prenuptial agreement, the parties can decide in advanced what property will be considered separate property and what property will be considered marital property and how that marital property should be divided.  


Protect prior marriage assets to split

The primary reason for prenuptial agreements is to protect assets belonging to one of the parties prior to the marriage. Large numbers of people marry a second and third time. People who are entering into second/third marriages are very keen on protecting assets they acquired prior to the marriage. People who inherit their deceased parent’s property are also anxious that inherited property is not brought into the matrimonial pot. Prenuptial agreements can be used to protect children from previous relationships – the agreement can be used to guarantee certain property or assets will still go to the intended heirs and are not caught up in the division of marital property.


Application and features

• Provides security during and after marriage to both people

• Avoids future disputes over how assets should be split and what each person contributed

• Helps speed up the divorce process and saves divorce costs

• Helps ensure that items with sentimental value remain with the person to whom they matter most

• Helps ensure that the people you choose (such as children from earlier relationships) inherit your wealth

• Prevents one’s wealth from being gifted away shortly before break-up

• Helps protect business assets from being split and sold

• Makes a separation less emotionally stressful by removing the need to negotiate…

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