None of us like to imagine our relationship ending, especially before the wedding has even happened. However, making sure that arrangements are in place to protect your finances is the smart, sensible and mature thing to do.
A prenuptial agreement helps you both know where you stand, which can be reassuring ahead of a life-changing change in your circumstances. You can think of it like an insurance policy. You will hopefully never need it, but it’s nice to know it exists.
What is a prenuptial agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is a legally binding document which sets out what will happen to your finances should you ever get divorced. It will outline the division of assets, as well as what happens with shared property, money and even business assets.
Do I need one?
It’s completely up to you and your partner whether you put a prenuptial agreement in place before your wedding. There are some circumstances though where your solicitor would absolutely recommend it. For example, if you are:
- Bringing a significant amount of wealth into the marriage
- The beneficiary of an inheritance, or you are due to inherit
- The trustee or beneficiary of a trust and need to protect the trust’s assets
- A business owner and want to protect your business assets.
People also tend to get prenups in order to protect their children’s inheritance, or to protect the family’s wealth if they have adult children who are due to marry.
Prenuptial agreements need to be fair
A crucial point to remember with prenups is that they need to be fair to both parties in order to be legally binding. If the agreement isn’t fair to one party, it may not be upheld in court and could be challenged.
You’ll both need a separate family lawyer, just to make sure there’s no conflict of interest.
Prenups are available in all “shapes and sizes”
Another important point to remember is that prenups are available in all “shapes and sizes.” While all prenups should be legally-binding, if they are not done properly, they may not hold as much weight as a couple might think.
At Tracey Miller Family Law, we would always want a time period of 4-6 months prior to the marriage to arrange a prenup to be on the safe side.
How to start a conversation about your prenup
This can be the most difficult part, broaching this potentially awkward topic with your partner. It’s very important to start talking about it as early as possible, instead of springing the topic in the weeks before the wedding when everyone’s already stressed.
Prepare for some tension to arise, but be as honest and straightforward as possible. Explain how a prenup will protect and treat both of your fairly, just in case the relationship should end – and everyone knows that many relationships do end every day.
Ultimately, a prenup agreement eliminates the element of uncertainty. Once it’s made, no one needs to worry about their financial future. You both have the peace of mind that your money, including assets you worked hard to build up before you married, are protected and that your family’s financial future is safe. If you can communicate this, you’re on the road to co-creating a prenuptial agreement that works for you both. Good luck!
If you need any advice about prenuptial agreements or are ready to draw yours up, contact the Wirral family law experts at Tracey Miller Family Law.