For some, this will also be the day that they choose to propose marriage! I know it is not as romantic as the candle-lit meal, chocolates, and flowers, and whilst you are madly in love, you must remember that marriage has both legal and financial implications. The truth is, a marriage is not only a romantic relationship but also sort of a business relationship. Couples need to consider how they are going to manage their finances when they are married. Some couples decide they will share their finances equally. The most important thing is to make sure whatever you decide, it works for you.
Increasingly, couples are entering into relationships where there is an imbalance in their financial positions. For example, one party enters the relationship with more assets than the other. They may have a property in their own name or have received an inheritance. This is becoming more and more common with the rise in blended families, those choosing to marry later in life and those tying the knot for the second or third time.
It is important that couples consider entering into a Pre-Nuptial Agreement. Pre-Nuptial Agreements get a lot of publicity in the celebrity world. Just recently, in the United States rumours have been floating around that Kim and Kanye will be filing for divorce. This has led to questions about what would happen to their finances under the terms of their Pre-Nuptial Agreement. It is important to remember that Pre-Nuptial Agreements are not just for the rich and famous. They can be useful in a wide variety of circumstances. They are becoming an integral part of a couples financial planning for the future.
Valentine’s Day, got it but what is a Pre-Nup?
A Pre-Nuptial Agreement is a document that couples sign before they get married to confirm how they will deal with their financial arrangements in the case of a divorce.
What are the advantages of a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?
- Pre-Nuptial Agreements encourage parties to discuss finances from the outset. They can help resolve financial issues before the marriage has started. This can be a great way of establishing intimacy and trust.
- Pre-Nuptial Agreements can offer some security and protection for assets accumulated before the marriage.
- If one or both of you have children from a previous relationship, a Pre-Nuptial Agreement can provide financial security for them.
- They can save time and cost. Having a Pre-Nuptial Agreement which is valid and fair, will help avoid long, complex financial remedy proceedings, saving legal fees and expenses, time and stress.
- They can minimise acrimony on divorce. Setting out how assets are to be divided on divorce, should lead to fewer arguments if the worst is to happen if you do divorce.
Are Pre-Nuptial Agreements legally binding?
Pre-Nuptial Agreements are not currently legally binding as the Court still has the power to make financial Orders on the breakdown of a marriage. However, the Court take Pre-Nuptial Agreements very seriously as they provide evidence of your intentions as a couple in the event of a divorce. The Court will uphold a Pre-Nuptial Agreement if it is fair and has been entered into freely with a full appreciation of its implications.
Many people will worry about suggesting a Pre-Nuptial Agreement to their future spouse. This is completely normal. It can be a very difficult conversation to have, however, it is a part of your financial planning for the future. It is no different to thinking about insurance, preparing a Will, or seeking advice from your accountant. Start the discussion early. Do not wait until a couple of weeks before the wedding – that’s when you want to be enjoying the build up!
For further information about Pre-Nuptial Agreements generally, please see our article “Married at First Sight – the importance of Pre-nuptial agreements and Wills”.
Steeles Law Family Solicitors offer an initial fixed fee meeting for £100 plus VAT for up to an hour or £125 + VAT including a follow-up letter.
*The information provided in this article is designed to provide useful information on the subject, not to provide specific legal advice.