10 of the strangest pre-nup clauses


Gold wedding ring on top of pile of money

The Law Commission wants to see pre-nuptial agreements recognised by the courts in the UK. At the moment pre-nups - where an engaged couple lays out what will happen to their finances in the event of a divorce - have no official basis in law, and will only be one factor they take into account. In future the Commission thinks they should be legally-recognised.

So what sort of crazy things can you include?

There are likely to be sensible financial things in these agreements - especially where one partner is considerably wealthier than the other, or where there are existing children to take care of. It also makes sense to have an agreement in place before you take on major joint borrowing - especially if it is one partner's name.

However, why stop there? Pre-nups have been around a lot longer in the US, and there they have developed some much more creative clauses for their pre-nups. Here are ten of our favourites - revealed by US lawyers.

1. Weight limitations

These have been used by both sexes. In some instances the husband or wife will set a specific weight that their other half is not allowed to breach. In other circumstances, they will be fined for every pound gained after marriage.

2. In-law rules

Some pre-nups will stipulate how much time the spouses can spend with their parents. On more than one occasion, overnight stays by the in-laws have been banned, and other spouses have limited the number of consecutive days that they can visit. One couple, meanwhile, included a financial penalty each time one of them was rude to the in-laws.

3. Infidelity clauses

In some cases the wealthier spouse will state that if their partner cheats they will receive none of the wealth in the event of a divorce. Where the partners are more evenly matched some include a financial penalty - to be paid in the event of a divorce by the cheating partner.

4. Minimum or maximum intercourse

Some younger couples may stipulate how often they expect to have intercourse. In one well-cited instance an older couple agreed that they wouldn't want to do so more than once a month.

5. Household roles

In one shocking example, the man was keen to reinforce gender roles in the household. He insisted that he should receive at least four home-cooked meals a day or his wife would lose her shopping allowance.

6. Hobbies

Couples might choose to set limitations on how involved their other half can get in their hobby. One wife said her husband was only allowed to watch American football on one Sunday per season.

7. Work

Some couples will stipulate the working life of their spouse. Some will be limited to only working certain hours every week, others will have to make a commitment to be home on time a certain number of times a week. In other cases a spouse will be told they cannot work.

8. No children clauses

Couples may have decided that they don't want children, but will have it written into the contract, so that no-one can change their mind.

9. Custody and visitation arrangements for the dog

It's not just arrangements for children that are written into these agreements. When a couple are both dotty about their pets, they can find themselves wrangling for hours over who gets to keep Rover.

10. Odd perks

Some couples will insist that in the event of a divorce they should be allow to keep certain perks they got as part of a couple. One wife of a sports star was rumoured to have insisted that in the event of a divorce she still receive the best seats in the house.

There's only one drawback to this sort of clause - they're not worth the paper they are written on. Lawyers warn that typically they are simply ignored in the courts.

Some people choose to keep them anyway - as a promise to one another and so that certain understandings are laid out in writing.

However, be warned, in some instances, where they are utterly ridiculous or one-sided, they can void the entire agreement.