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While pre-nuptial agreements (also known as pre-nups) are not nearly as fun to think about as wedding cakes or honeymoons, they can help couples avoid financial issues later in life. The truth is, marriage is not only a romantic relationship, but also a sort of business relationship. This realisation has led to the increased acknowledgment amongst couples that a pre-nup can be useful to protect each spouse’s financial interests.

Simply put, a pre-nuptial agreement is a contract that a couple signs before marriage. It sets out what assets there are at the date of the agreement, who owns them and what will happen to them should the relationship end. The agreement should also plan for the division of any future assets acquired over the course of their marriage.

Do I need a pre-nuptial agreement?

Anyone can ask for a pre-nuptial agreement but they are particularly important if one or both of you

  • has been married before
  • has children from a previous relationship
  • is more wealthier than the other
  • has a lot more debt than the other
  • own a business
  • doesn’t plan to work.

Equally, if your child is getting married and stands to inherit your family wealth, you may want to encourage them to enter into a pre-nuptial agreement. It’s not an easy subject to raise, but if done properly it is the most effective way of protecting assets.

What are the advantages of a pre-nuptial agreement?

Pre-nups encourage couples to discuss finances from the outset and can help resolve financial issues before the marriage has started. They offer some protection of family assets and property acquired before the marriage and can help provide financial security for children from a previous relationship.

Pre-nups can save time and costs – whilst the law still does not officially recognise them, they will often be upheld if they are entered into freely and those involved understood what they were doing. This helps to avoid long financial settlement proceedings, saving legal fees and expenses, tension and heartache.

A pre-nup is a form of insurance – you insure your house, holiday, car or any other significance asset, even though the chances are relatively slim that they will be lost or damaged, so why not insure your respective assets in the event of difficulties with your marriage?

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.