What is a Pre-nuptial Agreement?
A Pre-nuptial Agreement provides people with reassurance that their pre-marriage assets are protected. With one third of marriages ending up in divorce having a Pre-nuptial Agreement in place is becoming more and more common place.
A Pre-nuptial Agreement is a document in which a couple sets out their rights in relation to any property, income, assets and debts purchased together or separately prior to the marriage. This can also include detailing assets, inheritance and existing family commitments such as children from a previous marriage.
What does it involve?
If you agree to have a Pre-nuptial Agreement put in place the first step is for both parties to seek their own independent legal advice, this will then avoid any conflict of interest at a later date.
Both parties must declare all of their assets and their current financial position as well as think about changes in their future circumstances, for example if you are due a large inheritance, if you are planning to have children.
Do I need a Pre-nuptial Agreement?
Some may say it is not the most romantic thing to think about when planning your future marriage but if it is on your mind, try and ask yourself some key questions;
- Do you want to protect your property and assets if the marriage fails?
- Do you have a large amount of assets you want to protect?
- Is it your second marriage and you want to protect your settlement claim from your first marriage?
- Do you want to avoid a ‘who gets what’ argument if your marriage does break down?
If you have answered yes to one of these questions then you really need to contact us to arrange your Pre-nuptial Agreement.
What would happen if I didn’t have a Pre-nuptial Agreement?
Unless your assets are protected, once a couple gets married all assets become matrimonial assets and are equal to both partners.
Therefore, it is very important to consider a Pre-nuptial Agreement if you have something you may want to protect in the future.
Will a Pre-nuptial Agreement count in Court?
Currently a Pre-nuptial Agreement doesn’t carry the same weight as a Court Order and therefore will not automatically be upheld or enforced in the event of a divorce but is becoming more persuasive. A Court will look at all factors including;
- Did the party with the most to lose understand the nature of the Pre-nuptial Agreement?
- Have the circumstances changed e.g. children, significant change of income for one party
- Did one party hold back information on their financial position?
- Did each party seek independent advice?
Although a Pre-nuptial Agreement can be upheld in Court, equally they do have a strong influence in the Court; therefore it is worth you protecting your assets to avoid future problems.
Can I have a Pre-nuptial Agreement if I am in a civil partnership?
For same sex couples you can apply for a ‘Civil Partnership Agreement’ which carry’s the same principles as a Pre-nuptial Agreement and allows each party to protect their own assets.
What can I do next?
We can help you discuss any issues you may have and help you put your Pre-nuptial Agreement together, providing you the best advice possible and ensuring your assets are protected.
Contact us today for a free initial enquiry, you have nothing to lose but you may have to a lot more to protect than you realise.