Prenuptial Agreements

Are you planning to pop the question?

If you are, make sure you do not just put a ring on their finger – give consideration to a prenuptial agreement.

That is the advice of solicitor Alastair Yapp, who is a member of the Family Law team at Phillips.

He says rather than being regarded as something unromantic and mercenary, prenups should be considered by anyone contemplating marriage.  

Marriage is about love and sharing the rest of your lives together, but in the eyes of the law, it is a contract between two people and it deals with the financial consequences of the marriage ending.

Naturally, you are not going into marriage thinking that your relationship might break down, but unfortunately that happens more frequently nowadays, so here are just a few good reasons why you should have a prenup:

If you are much wealthier than your partner, then a prenup can ensure that your partner is marrying you for who you are and not for your money.

If you are remarrying and you have children from a previous marriage, own a home or other significant assets, then a prenuptial agreement can ensure that when you pass away, your assets are distributed according to your wishes, and that neither your first family, nor your new family are cut off.

If you own part of a business and your marriage ends, your spouse could end up having an interest in your share of your business if you do not have a prenup. You and your business partners may not want this to happen.

It may seem tough to talk about your loving, committed relationship as if it were a business arrangement and it may seem unromantic, but if you can sit down and discuss your future plans and expectations, logically rather than emotionally, you will find it much easier.  This may also prevent highly contested divorce proceedings, if you were ever to separate.

A legal professional like Alastair will help you to understand the different kinds of issues that might be covered in a prenup. The better informed you are, the easier it will be for you to explain things to your intended spouse.