Wedding season is just around the corner, and has an extra buzz thanks to the brace of royal weddings planned for 2018. If you’re tying the knot this year, it’s likely you’ve spent time carefully planning everything from bouquets to bunting. But have you given a second thought to a pre-nuptial agreement? Some couples just don’t want to think about what happens if there isn’t the dreamed of fairy-tale ending. But what if a pre-nup could actually help make your marriage stronger?
What can a pre-nup do?
A pre-nup is a legal agreement that is designed to make things easier to sort out if the marriage breaks down. It can:
- Protect any pre-existing fortune from being split
- Protect a spouse from their partner’s debt
- Provide for children from a previous relationship
- Keep family property within the family
- Help prevent solicitor fees from mounting up
A pre-nup is enforceable in the UK, although judges still have the discretion to ignore it, especially if it is considered to be unfair to any children of the marriage.
So how could a pre-nup help save your marriage?
There’s a saying that goes ‘money makes people funny.’ Different people have different attitudes to money, and that can cause arguments even among close family and friends. Money is the leading cause of stress in relationships – and that stress can sometimes strain a relationship to breaking point.
That’s where a pre-nuptial agreement could help a marriage to last longer. With a pre-nup you have both clearly outlined your approach to handling your finances in advance. It will mean you’ve already agreed on many financial issues, such as if school fees should be paid and how any inheritance should be handled. And deciding these financial arrangements in advance could help prevent future arguments that could lead to a divorce.
Is a pre-nup for you?
You might feel that you don’t have enough money to warrent a pre-nup at the point of marrying, but who knows what the future may bring?
To decide if a pre-nup is for you, take legal advice. They are no longer just the preserve of celebrities and the super-rich. Anyone can benefit from the peace of mind that a pre-nuptial agreement can bring, but they may be especially relevant if:
- You’ve built up a business and don’t want to have to sell it if you do divorce
- You want to ensure that children from any previous relationship will not lose any inheritance rights
- You have or are likely to inherit a family home that you would want to keep in the family
A pre-nuptial agreement can also give you extra peace of mind if you have concerns over your partner’s debt. That’s because a ‘debt clause’ can be included to protect you from being liable for that debt.
Do I need legal help?
Yes. To comply with the law, a pre-nuptial agreement must be drawn up and signed by a qualified solicitor. There’s no ‘one-size fits all’ so it’s a good idea to speak to a specialist in family law. They will have the expert knowledge and understanding of this niche area to effectively meet your specific needs.
In most cases a pre-nup will list all the assets of each partner and how they will be handled if a divorce was to happen. All assets and property must be fully disclosed and both parties will need to confirm that they voluntarily agree to it. You and your partner will both need to use separate solicitors, and it should be signed at least 21 days before the marriage.
What happens if you change your mind?
Your pre-nup can be changed at any time, as long as you both agree. If you’re already married, you could also consider a post-nuptial agreement at any time.
Jane Wheeler is a Legal Executive in the Family team at Verisona Law and can advise on all aspects of pre-nups and post-nups. If you would like further information please contact Jane on 023 9224 6714 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have set out below a full list of the services our Family Department can provide whatever your circumstances. If you do however have a query which does not relate to any matter detailed below, please do contact our Family team who will endeavour to assist you.
Divorce or Civil Partnership Dissolution
Whether you are the Petitioner or the Respondent within proceedings or whether you are simply contemplating the same we can provide guidance throughout the entire process. We can assist with:
- Drafting of documents
- Negotiations with the other party
- Correspondence with third parties such as the Court
- Advice face to face, by telephone, by email.
Pre-Nuptial and Post-Nuptial Agreements
Whether you are planning to marry or indeed have now married and wish to formalise arrangements in the event of separation we can advise and assist with the following:
- Drafting agreements
- Negotiating settlement
- Corresponding with all parties
Whether you are married or living together and in the event you decide to go your separate ways we can assist in formally documenting terms of separation. We can assist in the following ways:
- Drafting Separation Agreements whether in contemplation of divorce or whether to simply record the split of a cohabiting couple
- Negotiations with third parties
- Providing you with advice whether face to face, by telephone or by email.
Arbitration is an alternative to resolving disputes through the Court. At Verisona Law we can assist in a number of ways either by assisting you through the Arbitration or by referring matters to our in house Arbitrator. We offer competitive arbitration rates and a member of our team will be happy to assist with any queries in this regard. Please see our current articles on Arbitration for more details about the process.
If you have chosen not to marry but wish to live together you may wish to formalise the arrangements and details for doing so. We can assist in the following:
- Drafting cohabitation agreements/living together agreements
- Negotiations with all parties
- Advising you in person, by telephone or email as appropriate.
Divorce where Business are involved
We have extensive experience in dealing with breakdown of marriage where one or both parties are owners of businesses or indeed it may be the family business. We have experience in providing you with advice and signposting for business valuations and will ensure that the business as an asset is dealt with appropriately within any proceedings.
In addition to being able to provide specialised advice in relation to Public Sector pensions our team at Verisona Law has vast knowledge concerning all pension arrangements and can ensure that they are dealt with appropriately within any divorce proceedings. Please seek advice from a member of our team.
We are able to advise on all aspects of Parental Responsibility including:
- Agreements / Orders
- Exercising your Parental Responsibility rights and duties where appropriate
- Arising out of Parental Responsibility we can advise on applications for a Specific Issue Order to the Court if appropriate.
If you have any queries concerning Parental Responsibility and its impact on you or indeed whether you have Parental Responsibility for your children, please seek advice from a member of our team.
Assisting through Mediation
Whilst we do direct a number of matters through Mediation, this does not mean that you cannot have legal advice throughout the process. We can advise and assist you through the Mediation process and arrange thereafter to draw up formally any agreement reached be this by way of a Consent Order in divorce proceedings or simply to record in an open document the agreement you have reached at Mediation concerning the subject of your dispute.
Whether you are married or otherwise, or indeed simply have an interest in a property owned by another we can provide you with advice and assistance including;
- Applications to the Court
- Negotiations with all parties
- Advising and assisting you face to face, by telephone or by email.
This is an alternative way to resolve family disputes without the involvement of the Court. The Collaborative process requires both parties to have a Collaborative Lawyer and endeavours to resolve any disputes by way of four way meetings. We at Verisona Law can assist you through the Collaborative process. If this is an avenue of resolving dispute that you would be interested in, please contact a member of our team.
We at Verisona Law can provide you with advice and guidance concerning any disputes you may have relating to your child. This may be with whom the child lives, with whom the child spends time with, a specific issue concerning a child or steps that you wish to take to prevent something happening (Prohibited Steps Order). We can also advise you in relation to maintenance disputes with a third party guidance with dealing with the Child Maintenance Service. If you have a query with any issue concerning your child please contact a member of our team.
Change of Name
Please contact a member of our team if you are interested in changing your first or surname to discuss the drafting of a Change of Name Deed. We offer a fixed price for a Change of Name and we can provide you with further information upon request.
I went to Verisona Law because I had been unsatisfied with two previous attempts with other firms. Verisona gave that real sense of service, made.me feel like a client they were happy to assist at all times and ultimately gave the BEST advice and guidance. Dont waste money; go to Verisona FIRST!