Pre-Nups and post-nups – What you need to know

Protecting your assets before getting married is a wise decision, and here are the reasons why. While getting married is a joyful and exciting time for couples, it’s essential to be mindful of the potential outcomes if your relationship ends in the future.

Unfortunately, almost 42 per cent of marriages in the UK result in divorce, so it’s important to prepare for all eventualities, even if it seems unromantic.

Similar to how insurance offers financial protection in case of an accident or a break-in, a prenuptial agreement provides financial assurance in case of the worst-case scenario.

A prenuptial agreement is a formal document that enables couples to set out in writing what will happen to their individual assets in case of divorce.

Many couples may have acquired significant assets in their own names before the marriage, such as property, business interests, pensions, and savings, making it crucial to ensure each party’s assets are safeguarded in case of a marital breakdown.

Pre-nuptial agreements are becoming more common in the UK as divorce rates rise and celebrity splits illustrate what might happen if divorce proceedings go awry.

In England and Wales, the starting point for any divorce is to divide the assets equally between the divorcing couple.

However, in many modern relationships, one partner may have made a more substantial financial or asset-based contribution than the other.

It can be difficult and costly to persuade the court to depart from the presumption of equality, making it vital to put protective measures in place early.

Pre-nuptial agreements lay out “who owns what” from day one, ensuring that each partner knows where they stand from the outset and minimising the likelihood of uncertainties or arguments arising later.

It’s important to seek tailored advice from a specialist lawyer, whether you are getting married for the first time or remarrying in later life, to protect your assets and ensure that your pre-nuptial agreement is foolproof.

If you are already married, you can still put in place a financial agreement using a post-nup. This document works similarly to a pre-nup agreement and outlines how assets should be distributed between you and your partner in case of marital breakdown.

If you are considering getting married or want to protect your assets in a marriage due to a change in your circumstances, please speak to our family law team.

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