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Did your Valentines Day 'sparkle' this year?

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For some, champagne indulgences and red rose bouquets will be enough, but for the lucky few, Valentines Day provides the ultimate stage for a romantic proposal.   

If you were lucky enough to get a bit of sparkle this Valentines Day, we would urge you to consider the financial implications of marriage and the safety nets that can be put into place to protect yourself as you enter this new stage in life.  For instance, pre-nuptial agreements (‘pre-nups’) are often employed to set out the financial outcomes in the event that a couple separates or ultimately divorces.

Many misconceptions exist in relation to these types of agreements and in order to clarify the position in relation to pre-nups, in terms of their purpose and effect, we have provided answers to some of the most frequently asked questions below. 

I do not have many assets or disposable income, should I still consider a pre-nup?

Although these types of agreements are usually associated with high net worth individuals it is a tool now employed by a wide range of different couples.

Disagreements about money are the biggest instigators of conflict within relationships. These contentious issues often lead to increased feelings of bitterness between the parties causing a breakdown in communication and ultimately increased legal costs.

The availability of a pre-nup to provide a guide to all parties can only work to alleviate some of the problems that arise during the course of divorce proceedings.

Are pre-nups enforceable in their entirety?

On the face of it, these types of agreements are not currently legally binding in England and Wales. Instead, these agreements provide an indication to the Court of the intentions of the parties upon marriage being entered into.

When considering whether to enforce the terms of a pre-nuptial agreement the Court will consider factors laid down in case law including whether the agreement was freely entered into by both parties and whether the terms of the same were understood by both individuals.

Why should I consider a pre-nup?

As mentioned, a pre-nup should always be considered by couples entering into marriage. Whether it is providing protection for inherited wealth, savings, property etc. provision can be made.

However unromantic the concept, it is important that couples prepare for the possibilities the future may hold. After all, the protections you put in place now will likely limit the damage that can be done later.

If you would like more information in relation to pre-nuptial agreements please contact a member of the Family Department to book you initial free half hour consultation.