The benefits of pre-nuptial agreements
It can be difficult bringing up the subject of pre-nuptial agreements.
This is especially true when everyone is so excited. The wedding date is closer and it’s easy to get carried away.
You’ve told the story of the proposal a hundred times. The theme and colour scheme are agreed, the catering organised. There is still so much to arrange and you can’t wait for your special day.
However, amid all the wedding fever, take a moment to consider the benefits of a pre-nuptial agreement. They far outweighs the awkwardness of the conversation.
1. Protecting assets
Whether a family heirloom passed down through the generations; inherited wealth from loved ones, or property owned before the marriage. By making these assets non-matrimonial property at the outset, it will highlight to the court in the event of a split, a clear, intentional division of assets.
2. Saves money
In the long term, it is cheaper to draft a pre-nuptial agreement than to contest financial remedies at a later date.
3. Parties can agree own terms
A pre-nuptial agreement gives both parties the freedom to agree their own terms rather than a judge doing so. This could include protecting one party from the other party’s potential accrued debt, ring-fencing assets for family members, or protecting a family business.
4. Peace of mind
Talking about financial assets can be a tricky conversation, but one that inevitably needs to happen. By dealing with them from the outset in a mediated environment, a couple can begin their marriage with peace of mind, knowing their financial assets are in order.
5. Less animosity in the case of a split
Divorce is never a pleasant time, not only for the couple, but also any children involved. However, when financial assets are already settled, the process will be faster, with less discomfort for the whole family.
Not legally binding - yet
Whilst pre-nuptial agreements are not yet legally binding, the courts, following the case of Radmacher v Granatino should give effect to an agreement which produces a fair result and is freely entered into with knowledge of its implications.
Furthermore, a recent law commission report on the issue does highlight a growing movement towards making such agreements legally binding.
What do you think?
Did you broach the subject before getting married? Or, if you’re about to, are you thinking of it?
We’d love to hear your comments, experiences and maybe even some tips on how best to bring the subject up: