Friday, June 30, 2006

Do you need a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

A Pre-Marital Agreement is an agreement between two people contemplated and completed prior to their marriage which specifies the division of their assets in the event of divorce.


Judges are starting to take them into account but are not bound by them.

There are certain guidelines which will go a long way to ensuring your Prenup has standing:

1. Don't bully your partner into signing!

2. Draw the agreement up as soon as possible.
How soon?
At least 3 weeks but preferably 3 months before the wedding.

3. Both parties MUST HAVE independent legal advice.

4. Reveal everything (about your finances).
Without full financial disclosure it really is worthless because the other party does not know what they are agreeing to. Obvious? Should you be contemplating marriage if you want to keep your financial affairs secret? Do you think she might only be marrying you for your money? Are you good looking, kind, dynamic, thoughtful, romantic, understanding, intelligent, generous, good fun? No, at least one of the above? If not your suspicions could be right.

5. Is it fair?
Come on, that needs no further explanation.

How sound your prenup is also depends on how long your marriage lasts and whether you have any children . Although you could take that into account a la certain celebrity marriages, ie the amount of money she gets increases with each year of marriage. That puts a new spin on the old "we're only staying together because of the dog" approach and is a useful form of pension saving for the wife.

The arrival of children, if not contemplated and provided for in the prenup will seriously undermine an agreement. Sensible and fair.

Anybody considering marriage in England and Wales, and in the lucky position of having more assets than their intended spouse should seriously consider a prenup.

1 comment:

Adryenn Ashley said...

Nearly 70% of all marriages that end are due to financial stress. Add to that crushing statistic that divorce has not only become acceptable, but nearly inevitable! Why? Because we as a society don't take the time to do the work up front to ensure lifelong happiness. In fact, many smart, single girls revert back to schoolgirl fantasies once the ring goes on their finger. Faster than their guy can get up off of bended knee, these girls are pulling out the bridal magazines and obsessing over napkins and cake flavors. Combining two well-lived lives requires as much attention, more in fact, as planning a fairytale wedding. So Every Single Girl's Guide To Her Future Husband's Last Divorce is my contribution to all future second wives out there so they can learn the ropes without getting in the ring. We owe it to ourselves and our families to protect our ASSets!