Ten Reasons to have a Pre-Nuptial Agreement
A Pre-Nuptial Agreement or Pre-Marital Agreement (‘Pre-Nup’) is a contract agreed before marriage or civil union.
It sets out how your assets will be divided if by any chance the relationship doesn’t work in the long term.
- Nearly half of marriages in England and Wales fail (100,000 per year and rising). Pre-Nups are therefore not just for the rich and famous.
- Pre-Nups have not always been legally binding but in 2010 the courts significantly changed their approach. If a Judge is content that the necessary precautionary steps were taken when making the Pre-Nup, it is very likely to be upheld.
- You will protect your assets in the event of a divorce, which will hopefully make for a less contentious (and less expensive) split. The smoother the process goes, and the more open the communication, the lower your legal fees will be.
- Couples can agree in advance what will make financial sense for them and know what their financial obligations will be. Since such an agreement focuses on the financial relationship between you and your spouse, getting a Pre-Nup can actually help prevent future arguments over finances because you will both have disclosed all of your financial information at the start.
- The process of negotiating a Pre-Nup makes you think about one of the major causes of potential stress in a marriage – money.
- Pre-Nups can include agreement for all assets including cash, savings, investments, property, pensions and previous divorce settlements. Interests in any gifts or inheritances can also be covered.
- If you own a business, a Pre-Nup can ensure that your ownership is protected and spell out how the value in the business would be allocated.
- Pre-Nups can be reviewed throughout your marriage and take account of changes within the family over time.
- You will get a crash course in communication and compromise. Not only will consistent communication reduce the potential for surprises in the agreement, but it will help you and your partner gain a better understanding of each other’s needs and concerns.
- You are going to have to talk openly about income, debts, assets, and inheritances – financial topics that you and your intended might not otherwise discuss until you are actually married.
Other key points to note are:
- Get Legal Advice – a court is unlikely to follow a Pre-Nup made without legal advice.
- Act at the right time – Pre-Nups must be entered into at least 28 days before your wedding ceremony – if you’ve missed this and are already married, talk to us about a ‘Post-Nup’!
- There’s an added benefit too : Getting a Pre-Nup does not have to be embarrassing or awkward. Instead, focus on the far greater benefits of having one, such as certainty and financial security.
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