“Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get”, and marriage is exactly the same. People change, life choices can become dramatically different, and expectations can alter from the heady moment when you walk up the aisle and say, “I do”. This is one of the reasons why more and more engaged couples are choosing to sign pre-nuptial agreements.
With people getting married later and two thirds of divorcees remarrying, it makes perfect sense to put an agreement in place just in case you and your partner decide on different paths through life. Whether you or your partner have accumulated assets or debts in the years preceding your wedding, it’s always advisable to go into your marriage with your eyes wide open, a bit like having a guide to all of the chocolates in the box.
Having a pre-nup also allows couples to discuss and outline their plans for the future and can provide a position of trust and security ready for married life. Deciding how assets would be divided in the event of a break-up is much easier to do when you are in love, it can be far more difficult in the middle of an acrimonious divorce.
While we recommend that all couples considering marriage sign pre-nuptial agreements, there are a number of situations where, even though they aren’t legally binding, a pre-nup should be a part of your wedding planning.
- If you or your partner have assets or property that would be hard to split 50/50
- If you or your partner have children from previous relationships and want to protect their inheritance rights
- If you own a business that you want to retain control of
- If you want to protect inherited assets
- If you or your partner have accumulated outstanding debts
- If you have been burned by a previous divorce.
In the same way that deciding to get married is not something to be taken lightly, pre-nuptial agreements can take some weeks of negotiation to ensure that everyone is treated fairly in the event of a divorce. As a result, we suggest that engaged couples begin the process of drawing up their pre-nups around four to five months before they are due to marry. This allows for enough time to fully consider how you would like each other to be treated if your marriage doesn’t go to plan and potentially halts the likelihood of costly litigation in the future.
If you and your partner have decided to tie the knot, contact our team to discuss how a pre-nup can create a solid foundation for your marriage. We offer a free initial 15-minute, pre-bookable phone call with one of our experienced family law team. Alternatively, we offer a fixed £120 fee inc VAT for a 45-minute meeting with one of our highly experienced family team.