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Do we need a prenuptial agreement?

September 19, 2013  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

prenuptial agreements

Since 2010, the court has placed significant weight on prenuptial agreements in the event of a separation or divorce in the UK, making it more difficult to have them overruled. Though generally thought of as an Americanism, marital contracts are becoming increasingly popular this side of the pond. A prenup is a formal written agreement that provides terms regarding the division of assets and property in the case of marriage breakdown.

Couples work with their own family law solicitors to draw up a prenuptial agreement before their wedding or civil union, deciding on provisions that will simplify the details of a hypothetical separation in the future. Prenups might include ownership of assets, property and businesses during your marriage, financial issues, the support of any dependants, division of personal possessions, and fair settlements in the event of a divorce.

Some people find dealing with the idea of divorce before they even tie the knot a bit distasteful, but we draw up wills and protect our assets in the event of our death even though not many of us like to consider the thought of it! Although having a prenuptial agreement is by no means obligatory, it can be a useful contract to have as a couple for several reasons:

  • Your prenup can help you to decide how you plan to organise and divide your assets during your marriage, not just in the event of separation;
  • Deciding on the details of your agreement may give you an additional insight about you as a couple, and may even raise or resolve issues you didn’t know existed;
  • A prenuptial agreement can eliminate difficulties, stress and heartache if things don’t work out down the road, especially if there are children involved;
  • If you’ve been through a difficult divorce before you may find it reassuring to have certain provisions in place before you re-marry;
  • You might wish to protect future inheritances or existing savings.

You’ll need to have your prenup signed at least 21 days before the date of your marriage and make a full disclosure about your assets and property. Now that prenuptial agreements are becoming more commonplace, people are starting to view them more like a type of insurance rather than a cynical approach to marriage. Much like critical illness cover, a prenup is simple assurance that you will be okay if the worst should happen. And, as a couple, organising a premarital contract may even bring you closer together as you work out how best to plan for your future.

If you and your partner are looking for a solicitor in Berkshire or Buckinghamshire qualified in drawing up prenuptial agreements, give Frances Lindsay & Co a call on 01628 634667, email us, or pop into our Maidenhead office to discuss your situation.

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