Getting Hitched? Don't Risk Your Financial Security
The days when prenuptial agreements were only for the rich and famous are long gone. Today, more couples than ever opt for a prenup.
If you are getting married over the coming year, chances are the thought of a prenuptial agreement has, at the very least, crossed your mind. The trouble is, the whole topic is one that is still steeped in a degree of stigma. You might think that it demonstrates a lack of trust, or that prenups are only appropriate for millionaires embarking on their fifth marriage to someone half their age.
The truth is that these are misconceptions that have no basis in reality. And according to one of the foremost prenuptial agreement solicitors in London, the fact that so many people still harbour these beliefs leads to a world of troubles and heartache further down the line, that could easily have been avoided.
What is a Prenuptial Agreement?
In simple terms, a prenup is a formal, documented agreement between the prospective husband and wife in which they set forth the ownership of their combined belongings. The agreement goes on to state how they agree these belongings and assets will be divided in the event that their marriage ends.
A prenuptial agreement needs to be professionally written, then signed by both parties and witnessed, in order to be enforceable.
Is it worth the paper it's written on?
The popularity of the prenup with the celebrity couples who grace the tabloid papers and glossy magazines has contributed to a whole range of misconceptions regarding enforceability.
The short answer is that provided the prenuptial agreement has been properly drawn up in the way we have described, with the full knowledge, understanding and agreement of both parties, then the divorce courts will recognise and enforce the agreed terms.
The long answer is that they do have the right to waive some or all of the agreement if it is considered to be unfair, or to have a harmful impact on any children of the marriage.
Do I really need one?
One of the biggest mistakes is to think that you don't need a prenup because neither of you is super rich. The main purpose of the agreement is to decide on the financial arrangements and payments in the event that you split up.
This is relevant whatever your wealth. In the absence of a prenup, the court will favour a 50/50 split, but with priority given to whoever has custody of any children. Having a prenup allows you to make your own decisions, at a time when you are both approaching the topic objectively from the same side of the table.
These days, more people than ever run their own businesses. If you are one of them, a prenup is important to ensure that the terms of the business ownership are protected and understood.
Clearing the air
Let's be honest, one of the most contentious topics in any marriage is finance. Sitting down to discuss a prenup might not sound like the most romantic wedding preparation, but you might just find that it serves to clear the air and bring you even closer together. And that can only be a positive thing for a long and happy marriage.