Getting married is a big step, but going ahead without protecting yourself both financially and legally can be risky. With divorce rates consistently increasing, it may be worth considering a prenuptial agreement, or ‘prenup.’
What Is a ‘Prenup’?
It’s a legal agreement that documents how two spouses-to-be plan to divide their assets in the event of divorce or death.
It protects the interest of both parties entering into the marriage should they later decide to part ways.
Why You Need a Prenup
They are essentially an insurance policy if the marriage fails, ensuring that you’re not left out of pocket in the event of a divorce.
Recent research suggests that the average length of a marriage is now only 11 years. In fact, the national divorce rate in England and Wales is 42% according to the Office of National Statistics, which estimates that 34% of marriages end before the couple’s 20th anniversary.
The research also suggests that the most common period in which to divorce is between the fourth and eighth wedding anniversaries.
It’s important to agree upon and sign a prenup before the wedding, as it comes into effect on your big day. Divorce proceedings can take months and even years to resolve. By agreeing beforehand what each party gets in the event of divorce, you can save time and money in the future.
Protect Your Assets
Without a prenup, once you both utter ‘I do,’ whatever you have is shared between you.
If you own your own business or large assets such as property or stock, it is advisable to sign a one before entering into marriage.
However, these agreements aren’t just for the extremely wealthy; they are also an effective way to secure any savings, investments or pension funds that you have built up over the years. They’re also a good idea if one of you earns more than the other.
How To Apply For A Prenup
It’s important to talk about a prenup with your partner as soon as possible. You don’t want to leave it until the lead-up to the wedding.
Before you apply for one there are a number of considerations that you need to take into account. Firstly, assess your finances. Have an honest conversation with your partner. You need to establish how much you both earn, own and owe.
Next, you need to decide whether such an agreement is right for you. If you decide to go ahead with the agreement, you need to determine which clauses and assets you want to include in it. It should also include any existing debts.
You will need to provide a thorough description of all assets included in your prenup when you meet with a solicitor, so make sure that you have these prepared in advance. It’s also important to finalise your agreement before you meet with a solicitor, as otherwise you’re just wasting time and money.
Once the agreement has been drawn up, both parties need to sign it. This must be done before the wedding, and you need to ensure that a solicitor is present when the document is signed. Now you can get married with the peace of mind that if the worst should happen, you’re both covered.
If you’re thinking of setting up a prenuptial agreement with your partner, Cordell & Cordell can offer you advice and useful information to help you with this important decision.
Contact Cordell & Cordell for more information.