Prenuptial agreements, the document relating to a division of assets before marriage is finalised, may seem like an unromantic and harsh measure for a future spouse to take. However, leaving the UK’s statistics of high divorce rates out of the conversation, prenuptial agreements are a reasonable request and express your partner’s openness to discuss the security of your future.
When considering prenuptial agreements, many are reminded of the glamorous lifestyles of the rich and famous as these public marriages usually correspond with a settlement of high-value assets.
However, prenuptial agreements are not an indicator of wealth and can now be implemented for marriages across the North East and the rest of the UK, which is what we will be discussing today.
What is a prenuptial agreement?
Prenuptial agreements are increasingly commonplace among recent marriages as the providence of family assets is no longer dependent on a single source or person, instead most families have multiple avenues of finance entering the home.
To protect these financial assets, these agreements are drawn up usually within 28 days of the wedding day to ensure that the division of assets and future financial gains are fair and protect both partners from court issues should the marriage break down.
For a prenuptial agreement, certain considerations are made based on the personal details of each person entering the union, as both partners must consent to the prenup for the agreement to be valid.
There are many reasons why couples agree to enter a prenuptial agreement and the majority are due to financial obligations. Four examples of why these settlements are created are:
- Substantial inheritance claims – inheritance can be a difficult subject, this is why some couples elect not to have it as a shared future asset.
- Business that is not shared – if a partner owns a business this would form part of the ‘matrimonial assets’. Some business owners prefer to keep partners out of business for the security of interests, stakeholders, and employees.
- Children from prior relationships – clauses relating to property owned and finances passed to children are the most commonly used in prenups, as it ensures children’s futures are protected should the marriage break down.
- Preventing debts from becoming jointly owned – if partners have previous debt that can interfere with their finances, then a debt clause can be included, ensuring any joint finances are not affected during the marriage or should the marriage end.
Should I get a prenuptial agreement?
If you’re considering a prenuptial agreement before you get married, it is important to consider how the assets (any property, vehicles, or additional finances) could be affected if this agreement is not completed.
Prenups offer clarity and protect yourself and your spouse from any future unrest in the event of a divorce. Like all legally binding documentation, prenuptial agreements can come with a litany of important factors that need to be considered and if the use of one is of value to you as a person and as part of a couple.
Recently, the UK introduced a similar settlement for civil partnerships, these pre-registration agreements follow the same format and require couples to demonstrate assets before they’re united.
What should I include in a prenuptial agreement?
Prenuptial agreements are dealt with on an individual basis, depending on the inventory of each partner and how they agree that the assets should be divided or kept during and if the marriage ends.
The assets issued in this section of the prenup could include:
- Property held under a sole name
- Stocks and investments
- Savings held in bank accounts
- Current income/related ongoing work finances
- Pension pots
Vice versa, several things CAN NOT be included in your agreement and will make the contract void if these are actioned during or after the marriage has ended. These include:
- Dictating how your partners’ funds are to be used
- Child support and custody
- Illegal tender or criminal gains
How can ICS Law help?
Ultimately, implementing a prenuptial agreement within a marriage is a personal decision and depends on the assets that are most important to you and your spouse and should be made with the intention of protecting each other if any issues occur in the future.
Our North East-based legal team understands the difficulties that can come with trying to organise your future finances and maintain positive, communicative relationships while attempting to make them. That’s why you can feel reassured when you use our services, as our team comes with over 40 years of experience in family law and has received a Law Society accreditation for dealing with issues relating to matrimonial disputes and family mediation.
Place your future nuptials into our hands and we will ensure you have the best agreement for yourself and your partner. Contact our team here.