Most people have heard of premarital agreements, also known as prenuptial agreements/prenups, usually in relation to a celebrity marriage breakdown in tabloid news. Although typically perceived as for celebs or the very wealthy, people of all means have started to understand the benefits and take action themselves, with an increasing number of couples wisely putting the measure in place to safeguard against the difficulties that can arise from a potential marriage breakdown.
What is a premarital agreement?
A premarital agreement is a legally binding written contract created by two people before they are due to wed. They set in place the rights of each property, debt, income and assets, purchased together or acquired individually, and details how these would be divided in the event of a marriage breakdown. Premarital agreements bring a measure of certainty by protecting pre-marriage assets, inheritance and existing family commitments such as children from previous relationships.
Although legally binding, British courts still have the discretion to waive any pre or postnuptial agreement, especially in instances deemed unfair to any children of the marriage. The agreement should be completed and signed at least one month before the wedding date, helping avoid allegations of undue influence.
‘Do I need a premarital agreement?’ – probably!
We know that in the excitement of planning a wedding you won’t want to be thinking of a potential marriage breakdown. However, it’s a good idea to consider the option of creating a premarital agreement to bring peace of mind knowing that certain assets are protected in the future. For many, the topic of finance can prove to be a massive stress point for a number of relationships, however, having these conversations early on encourages open communication and relieves any potential later stress.
In some instances, greater thought should be given to the option of creating a premarital agreement. For example:
- If one or both of you already own a property
- If one holds a particularly higher income
- If one has children from a previous relationship
- If either of you is a business owner
- If either party is in a significant amount of debt
- If a parent has offered funding to a property purchase by way of a gift can also be protected when creating a PMA.
Putting these actions in place can help save on cost and emotional stress if your marriage were to breakdown. Although they aren’t always written for all first-time marriages, they should definitely be considered. However, in the case of second marriages, they are invaluable due to helping protect assets for children from previous relationships.
Who can help?
Creating a premarital agreement may sound quite unromantic, but it can also help keep some civility in the case of a break-up. With the average age for getting wed going up, more and more couples will have assets from their pre-married life to protect from a potential marriage breakdown. A premarital agreement creates provision for children to create a greater sense of stability for day-to-day life and can be reviewed every five years or so if needed.
At Linder Myers, we offer a fixed fee for the creation of a premarital agreement and will work with you to ensure all your needs are met and all options considered. Our expert family lawyers have extensive experience in helping you throughout this process, making sure you have all the support you need so you can rest assured throughout your marriage.
For specialist advice, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0800 042 0700, or email email@example.com