Some people feel that choosing to draw up a prenuptial agreement reveals a cynical view of marriage – or even perhaps raises flags on an already rocky relationship – but a prenup needn’t suck all the romance out of your nuptials! In fact, the opposite could well be argued; when you’re organising a wedding or civil partnership, your future together is in the forefront of your minds, for better or for worse, so isn’t it better to plan for every possible outcome together? Being able to discuss the ‘what ifs’ and come to a sensible, fair decision if the worst should happen surely proves that your love for one another will go far beyond the giddy days of your honeymoon.
A prenuptial agreement can be drawn up for marriages, civil partnerships, or adapted into a cohabitation agreement for unmarried couples who are living together. Essentially, it is a formal document that details a suggested procedure for the division of assets if you should ever choose to separate. You will need a family law solicitor to help you draw up the terms of your agreement – it’s a little like making a will – and should cover all the issues that may arise in during separation, for example:
- If financial contributions to bills, rent or mortgage payments are likely to be uneven in your marriage, you may need to consider how you would want to divide up assets or property with this in mind;
- If you already have children, or plan to have children in the future, discussing how you would deal with divorce could save you an awful lot of stress and upset in the future if things don’t work out;
- If you have any high-value possessions or items that have significant personal meaning, you may want to stipulate who would get to keep them in the event of separation;
- Pets seem to fall somewhere between possessions and children when dealing with divorce negotiations – have you thought about who would get the dog/cat/goldfish if you went your separate ways?
- If you anticipate receiving an inheritance in the future, or have savings you’d like to safeguard, drawing up a prenup is a pertinent way to protect your personal finances;
- For unmarried couples, a cohabitation agreement can be especially important to help defend any claim of shared property or assets you have accumulated during your relationship. ‘Common-law’ marriages are not protected by the law, and your solicitor may advise you to take further precautions to secure your finances in case of a break up.
For individuals who have already been through a tough break-up or divorce, a prenuptial agreement can be a reassuring part of the process of moving on – after all, few of us anticipate future troubles when we say ‘til death do we part’. A prenup is a lot like critical illness cover – we hope we never have to use it, but it’s a valuable policy to have, and can protect you both from unforeseen circumstances that may lie ahead.
If you want to know more about prenuptial agreements or cohabitation agreements, speak to a friendly solicitor at Frances Lindsay & Co. We can help you with every aspect of family law, including prenups, property and conveyancing, wills and probate, and divorce and separation.Tags: cohabitation, cohabitation agreements, family law solicitor Berkshire, family law solicitor Buckinghamshire, family law solicitor Windsor, prenuptial agreements