Prenuptial agreements probably sound like the most unromantic concept imaginable to newly-engaged couples. It is considered some-what of a taboo topic but a ‘prenup’ is definitely something that should be discussed if you’re planning on getting married, especially if one or both of you have assets that you would not want shared in the event of divorce. It may just be the case that neither of you want to be the first to bring it up!
There are pros and cons to prenuptial agreements, most of which are personal reasons that should be discussed with your partner and an experienced family lawyer. Although it may feel some-what like you’re jinxing your marriage but taking precautionary measures to protect your assets is the logical thing to do.
What is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is an official agreement made between a couple before they marry, in which they state how much of each other’s assets and, if appropriate, the matrimonial assets, each will receive if the marriage ends in divorce. The purpose of a prenuptial agreement is to take precautionary measures to protect your assets in the result of a divorce.
What are the reasons for a Prenuptial Agreement?
- Financial reasons
It is a common myth that prenups are solely for the rich, so they can protect their assets in the event of a divorce. Although it is likely for those with money to be more protective of their assets, prenups are no less suited for people with regular incomes.
It does not depend on your wealth to decide whether a prenuptial agreement is for you. If you have worked hard to earn something it makes even more sense to take precaution for your assets.
- Second marriage
A prenuptial agreement is popular among second marriages. The couple may have acquired their own assets at this point, or have children of their own. This is the same for first-time marriages for those who marry later in life. In this case, both partners may wish to leave their assets to their own children, which can be agreed in a prenuptial agreement before marriage.
A prenuptial agreement can protect your assets from your partner’s pre-existing debt; this includes securing any wealth that the children may be entitled to after the divorce proceedings.
Yes, it may not be the most romantic of proposals but it is the most upfront. It is about being truthful with your partner about each other’s assets, to discuss and plan for the future. People often say that getting a ‘prenup’ is preparing for the worst-case scenario but realistically it is dividing the assets to ensure both partners are secured if in event of divorce.
Are Prenuptial Agreements binding?
The answer to this question used to be “No”. However, Courts are now more ready to uphold the terms of a Prenuptial Agreement where certain requirements have been met. It is therefore essential that Prenuptial Agreements are drawn up professionally by solicitors. It is better to have one in place rather than leave everything to chance.
A prenuptial agreement is the decision of the couple. If they believe it is the best thing for them, they should consult a family lawyer. We have an excellent family law team here at PGM, to speak to one of our experts, call 01792 468684.