Prenuptial Agreements

The phrase ‘prenup’ has negative connotations for some. However, prenuptial agreements are nothing to be afraid of.

Divorce and separation can happen for a variety of reasons and are a possibility at the start of any relationship. Prenuptial agreements are just one way that you can protect yourself and your assets before the relationship gains legal status.  Although a court does not have to make decisions that are in line with the agreement, it will try to implement the prenup in the absence of strong contrary arguments.

Written in advance of the wedding, a prenuptial agreement outlines what happens to your assets and your family in the event of a divorce. Having this conversation before the marriage may feel uncomfortable, but it could also save a lot of stress and unplanned expenditure if things go wrong.

When creating a prenuptial agreement, both you and your partner must make arrangements with different solicitors, so that both of you know exactly what you are signing. This avoids any arguments that one party signed unwillingly.

This method can be especially beneficial if you hold substantial assets (such as property or shares) in your name before entering the marriage and would prefer to keep them separate in order that their value be maintained for another party, such as your children. It can also help to overcome the challenges associated with separation from a spouse with overseas citizenship.

A prenuptial agreement should cover

  • How asset value (money, property, pension funds etc.) is to be divided

  • What will happen to your house(s) – who would be entitled to live where

  • Duration and extent of any ongoing payments (maintenance)
  • Any maintenance to be paid to the children

  • The country in which divorce proceedings would take place (if your prospective spouse holds citizenship in another country)

We suggest reviewing your prenuptial agreement over time if there is a significant change in your circumstances (for instance, following the birth of a child) so that it remains up to date and takes account of your entire family.

Contact us today for a discussion on how a prenuptial agreement could give you peace of mind.

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