Prenuptial agreements are extremely popular in the USA and with one of the world’s highest divorce rates it is not hard to see why. Commonly referred to as a pre-nup, they are often linked to the wealthy or the rich and famous but in fact they can be for everyone. But does that mean they are right for you?
Prenuptial agreements became legally enforceable in UK courts in 2010, this means any agreement you make with your partner in a pre-nup will have to be followed if you do file for divorce. The only way to avoid your pre-nup being enforced is to prove to the courts that it is unfair. Clearly this can be a difficult matter so do not enter into a prenuptial agreement lightly. If you would be happy for your property to be split evenly down the middle, you probably do not need to go to the hassle of making a prenuptial agreement. This is generally the course of action that UK courts take in terms of dividing a separating married couple’s property as it is deemed fairest.
People may consider a prenuptial agreement premature, or insincere, perhaps they feel it an ominous move dooming the relationship to failure. However, it does not necessarily mean this – although it does depend how you see it as a couple. If you both do not feel that you feel comfortable with a prenuptial agreement there is absolutely no reason to go forward with one. Trying to draft a pre-nup if you feel that it is negative omen will just put strain on your relationship. There is no legal obligation to have to draft a pre-nup.
If one partner is trying to force a prenuptial agreement on the other, without good reason, it can appear as if they are not as committed to the relationship as the other, sowing the seeds of doubt. However, if there is good reason for a pre-nup it may simply be a sensible move. Be explicit about the reasons you wish to draft a pre-nup and ensure both parties are happy. Some reasons a pre-nup may be a positive idea:
1. You have business assets or inheritance you accumulated prior to the marriage that you wish to safeguard.
2. You have children you need to provide for.
3. You both wish to keep a court battle out of any stage of your relationship, especially if it came to breakdown as it would add a further stress and strain to an already difficult situation. After all, your business is your business and you would rather have made mutual decisions for any eventuality.
Therefore, whether or not a prenuptial agreement is right for you completely depends upon your personal situation and your opinion as a couple. Drafting a pre-nup can be strenuous even if you have both happily agreed to it, so make sure you both feel ready to take on the task as a couple.
With a team of family lawyers, Roskell Davies can give you legal advice regarding prenuptial agreements and divorce. For a free initial enquiry call 0800 142 2901 or fill in an online enquiry.