It might seem unromantic but having a pre-marital agreement in place can offer you and your family overall protection and a ready-made solution should things not go to plan. You may have pre-existing wealth such as a property, an inheritance or business assets or monies from a previous divorce settlement which you want to protect or you might simply wish to avoid the complications and legal costs in the event of a separation or divorce.
Pre and Post-Marital Agreements are not yet legally binding on our courts but our courts are now taking such agreements into account when deciding cases on divorce
Various factors increase the credibility and weight to be applied to such agreements including: –
- That the agreement is made well in advance of the marriage and the marriage announcements and preparations
- That both you and your fiancé(e) either receive or have the benefit of taking independent legal advice before signing to the terms of the agreement
- You mutually disclose your respective financial circumstances openly to each other which is recorded within the agreement
- You have considered carefully the financial provision that you have agreed to make and that a divorce court might in its discretion otherwise make.
A court may not uphold the agreement if–
- it does not meet one or both parties needs
- it does not deal with a dependent child/children
- an unforeseen event arises such as illness or bankruptcy significantly changing your respective needs and resources.
What if we are already married?
- You can enter into a post-marital agreement if you are already married.
- You may require both a pre-marital agreement and a post-marital agreement, particularly if the pre-marital agreement is entered in to close to the date of the marriage.
- The important factor is that an agreement is in place before any dispute/separation might take place.
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