As we embark on the New Year, many will be celebrating some very happy news. Aside from Valentine’s Day, Christmas Day is renowned for being one of the most popular days for marriage proposals.
A Pre-Nuptial Agreement may not have been on your Christmas list alongside that diamond ring but recently engaged couples should give serious consideration to such an Agreement before they tie the knot.
Pre-Nuptial Agreements are becoming much more common and are no longer viewed as only for the rich and famous. They are particularly important in second marriages, where one party wants to protect a family business or either/both are expecting to receive a considerable inheritance.
Ironically, many people will spend thousands of pounds on their wedding day but neglect to consider the financial implications of getting married. Whilst it may seem unromantic, it is equally important to ensure your finances are in order and whilst nobody wants to think what would happen in the unfortunate event that you may later divorce, having a Pre-Nuptial Agreement in place could save substantial legal fees if the marriage ends in divorce.
What is a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?
A Pre-Nuptial Agreement is a document entered into by a couple planning to marry or enter into a civil partnership which sets out what they intend to happen to their money and property if the marriage or civil partnership were to end by way of divorce or dissolution.
Is a Pre-Nuptial Agreement Needed?
A Pre-Nuptial Agreement is not necessarily required for all couples. However, if any of the following circumstances apply, couples might want to consider putting a document in place:
• There are significant assets such as property or investments and one party has a much higher income than the other;
• The marriage is a second marriage for either/both;
• The parties have children from a previous relationship;
• Either party has business assets;
• Either party is expecting an inheritance;
• The parties want to ring-fence certain assets as non-matrimonial assets such as inherited property or family heirlooms;
Do Pre-Nuptial Agreements hold legal weight in England and Wales?
Pre-Nuptial Agreements are now afforded heavy evidential weight within the Family Courts. They are likely to be upheld if they are drawn up properly and meet a number of requisite safeguards. The Court will take into account a Pre-Nuptial Agreement unless the agreement would be unfair. It is important that both parties seek legal advice before entering into an agreement. A Pre-Nuptial Agreement is a bespoke legal document and should always be drafted by an experienced family lawyer.
If you, or a family member, have recently become engaged then on behalf of Taylor Walton we wish you many congratulations on your very exciting start to 2020. If you're looking for advice on Pre-Nuptial Agreements then contact one of our local branches here.