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Do you need a prenuptial agreement before you say “I do”?

break-up-580x395-1423407815793Do you need a prenuptial agreement before you say ‘I do’?

Contrary to popular belief a prenuptial agreement, or the more commonly known ‘pre-nup’, is not just for wealthy individuals and high profile celebrities.  A prenuptial agreement applies to any couple who are planning to get married or enter into a civil partnership and would like to regulate their affairs should their relationship end.

No couple enters into a marriage or civil partnership with the intention of it failing and it is for that reason you may believe you do not require one.  With one third of all UK marriages, however, ending in separation it would be wise to consider whether you should have a prenuptial agreement before you say ‘I do’. At Josiah Hincks we believe there are various key reasons why every couple should consider entering into a prenuptial agreement.

The Agreement is not just to protect the ‘wealthier’ party

Many people assume that entering into a prenuptial agreement is just to protect assets.  Many people, however, enter into marriages or civil partnerships without knowing everything about their partner’s financial position. This could apply to wealth but this could equally apply to debts. If your partner has debts which you are not aware of, a prenuptial agreement can assist you by providing an express clause which can determine who will be responsible for debts incurred by each party before or during the marriage or civil partnership. A prenuptial agreement can also determine how the debt is to be paid in the event that the relationship ends.

Are you remarrying?

If this is not your first marriage or civil partnership you may be wary about entering into another marriage or civil partnership without the prospect of having financial security if that relationship fails.  You may not want to go through the experience of not knowing what your financial position may be should the relationship fail, or you may want to protect assets and property you have brought into this “new” relationship, particularly if you have children from a previous relationship.  A prenuptial agreement would be a useful tool for you to have in place to deal with these issues.

Do you have children?

You may have children from a previous relationship for whom you may wish to protect property and assets you would like them to inherit. You also may intend to have children with your “new” spouse or civil partner, in which case a prenuptial agreement can set out what financial provision will be made for them should your marriage or civil partnership end.

Do you own a business?

If you own your own business, or have shares in a business which you would like to protect in the event of your marriage or civil partnership failing, then it would be sensible to come to an agreement as to what will happen to these assets if you and your spouse or civil partner decided to end the relationship.

Do you stand to inherit?

If you or your soon to be spouse or civil partner have received  or stand to receive an inheritance in the future and  you would like to protect this, then  a prenuptial agreement may assist in achieving this.

Whilst prenuptial agreements are not yet legally binding in England and Wales, the Courts do take them into consideration and are increasingly giving weight to them when determining what should happen in relation to the division of assets upon divorce. It is more and more likely that, if you have a well prepared and fair prenuptial agreement, where there has been full and frank financial disclosure and both parties have had sound independent legal advice about entering into the agreement, the Courts will uphold you both to what you have planned and agreed.

Why choose Josiah Hincks

We adopt a sensitive approach to what can be a sensitive and awkward subject. We are very aware that the parties want to get married or enter into a civil partnership and as a result they may find it difficult and uncomfortable to negotiate an agreement. We understand that the dynamics of the relationship between the parties is very important.

We are able to offer clear advice on what is involved in terms of:

  • The process and timings;
  • Obtaining and providing ‘full and frank’ disclosure;
  • Drafting, negotiating and finalising the Agreement;
  • How much it will cost and who is responsible for it;

Should you wish to discuss how we can assist you in preparing a prenuptial agreement and the costs involved, please contact a member of our Family team on:

Leicester: 0116 255 1811

Syston: 0116 344 0210

Blaby: 0116 264 3430

Market Harborough: 01858 462 462

Coalville: 01530 835 041

We also have a website dedicated to prenup agreements at www.prenupsolicitors.co.uk