Often people hear prenups and instantly think about how it is a bad thing. Especially during the wedding planning period. But prenups can give you a solid foundation of trust and honesty and protect your future. Especially if children from a previous partner are involved.
Prenups also give your parents a little more confidence and security, as Rosalyn O’Donnell-Teelan from Teelan & Silwal Family Law discussed with me in my recent podcast.
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My favourite thing about being a wedding planner is that I am bringing to life a couple's dream wedding. I regularly blog and post helpful tips, feel free to drop me a message if you are in the midst of planning and need a hand or if you’ve just got engaged, congratulations!
What is a prenuptial agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is an agreement you come to with your partner, laying out all your assets, current and future, and what happens to them should your marriage end in death or divorce. It doesn't sound so sexy but it really is a piece of mind for everyone involved.
Prenuptial agreements are becoming increasingly popular in England, in a lot of European countries it is an automatic agreement.
Prenups reduce stress and give security to you, your partner and your parents (plus any children you may have already). They ease conflict. Remember, prenups are not just encase of a divorce, they also are if the marriage ended due to death or your partner ended up on life support.
A great thing about prenuptial agreement is that you can put in assets you are to have in the future, even if it doesn’t yet belong to you. 10 years ago, it was much more common for wealthy people to sign these agreements to protect all their valuable assets. Increasingly now it is also popular for more people to have one. Definitely worth considering when inheriting or having children from previous marriages.
Prenuptial agreements can also be a great security for the financially weaker party. It makes sure that they are provided for after they give up everything for the other person as they are usually the one that don’t have back up if something goes wrong.
Plus, it also protects you from debt that your spouse may encounter in their personal life or even business life.
The more assets and resources you have, or complicated trust scenarios like parents wanting to protect different assets, the more complicated it can become.
But essentially a prenuptial agreement is a document listing all personal assets and resources. In this document, each party broadly decides what would happen should their marriage end or one party be on life support. These are usually assets that were acquired prior to the marriage, or are to be inherited.
Although regularly a simple process, a prenuptial agreement should be drafted very carefully, thinking about how a judge is likely to look at it. It is important to use a professional, rather than using the highly available website templates. This more likely will mean that a judge will uphold the agreement.
Business is a grey area, and as the court has jurisdiction, they may consider what is fair for both parties. It is, however, beneficial to have a prenup when you have a business to protect your business and any interest you have in a business.
If someone wants a prenup, the first step is to be independently legally advised. If you are looking to find out more, I recommend one of the parties to go and speak with Rosalyn. You can get a free 30 minute consultation. Or just if you are completely unsure, as there is no harm in getting advised, have a look at their website www.tandsfamilylaw.com.
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