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

Simply put, a prenuptial agreement is a contract that a couple signs before getting married to confirm how they will deal with their financial arrangements in case of a divorce. Pre-nups set out what assets there are at the date of the agreement, who owns them and what will happen to them and it should also deal with the division of any future assets the parties acquire over the course of their marriage. It provides for the needs of the couple and any children in the event the couple decide to permanently separate.

When may a prenuptial agreement be necessary?

1. At least one of you has been married before.

2. You have children to provide for.

3. One of you is much wealthier than the other.

4. One of you has a lot more debt than the other.

5. One or both of you are small business owners or entrepreneurs.

6. There is a disparity in your income positions.

These are just some examples and it is important to bear in mind that anyone can ask for a pre-nup, regardless of the assets available.

What are the advantages of prenuptial agreements?

  1. Pre-nups encourage parties to discuss finances from the outset and can help resolve financial issues before the marriage has started.
  2. Pre-nup agreements offer some security and protection of family assets or property acquired before the marriage.
  3. They can help provide financial security if there are children from previous relationships or marriages.
  4. They can also save time and costs. Having a prenuptial agreement which is valid and fair will help avoid long financial settlement proceedings, saving legal fees and expenses, tension and heartache.
  5. It is a form of insurance – you insure your house, contents, car, or any other asset of significance, 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 the same happening with your marriage?

If you would like further information in relation to pre-nups or family law generally, please contact one of our family solicitors at Debenhams Ottaway.

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.