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Planning ahead – the benefit of Prenuptial Agreements

One of the unfortunate outcomes of the current pandemic is that weddings that couples have spent lots of time planning and saving for, have been cancelled or postponed indefinitely. There have been some lovely news articles about couples celebrating what would have been their special day at home, and no doubt when the current restrictions are lifted, those special days will be even more special with friends and family there in person to celebrate.

There may also be couples who have realised through this pandemic that they want to take the next step in their relationship, and pop the all-important question.

Without wanting to dampen the romance, whether you are planning to propose, or already planning your (next) big day, it is important to plan ahead. What this pandemic has shown is that unexpected changes and challenges can come along, and some preparation for these can avoid a huge amount of uncertainty.

Couples may therefore wish to consider entering into a Prenuptial Agreement before the big day.

A Prenuptial Agreement is an agreement entered into before the marriage, which sets out what financial provision will be made for each person should the marriage come to an end. The agreement often seeks to protect assets you already own, separates assets which you have acquired together during the marriage, or will acquire in the future.   

Prenuptial Agreements are not currently legally binding. However, they are becoming increasingly recognised by the Courts, and provided they have been properly entered into, can hold a significant amount of weight when determining how assets should be divided in the event of a divorce.

There are several criteria which should be met to try and ensure the agreement carries as much weight as possible. These include both parties disclosing their financial position to each other, both parties having the ability to obtain independent legal advice, and the agreement being entered into no less than 28 days prior to the marriage. It is also important that both parties enter into the agreement freely and without any pressure from the other party.

Whilst not the most romantic of discussions to have when planning your big day, considering a Prenuptial Agreement may save you a significant amount of time, money, and uncertainty later down the line. It is also a sensible way to try and preserve and retain assets, which otherwise may be open to a claim from the other party in the event of a divorce, if no agreement is in place.

If you wish to discuss this further please contact a member of the Family Team and we will happily advise you further.

 

These notes have been prepared for the purpose of an article only. They should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice.

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