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How to arrange a pre-nuptial agreement

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Pre-nuptial agreements were once reserved for the truly rich and famous, with vast amounts of assets that they needed to protect. They are now becoming more popular amongst the general public, who want to ensure their financial security if the marriage was to end. If you’re considering a pre-nuptial agreement, where do you begin?

On average, couples are now getting married later in life. You’ve already built up successful careers, amassed large savings and invested in property, which you want to protect if the marriage was to end in divorce. Pre-nuptial agreements are now legally binding in the UK and provide an effective means of ensuring the security of your assets in the event of a marriage breakdown.

Discuss early

Pre-nuptial agreements are a delicate matter, even in the most stable of relationships. Therefore, it’s important to bring the subject up early in the wedding plans, so that you both have time to discuss it in detail. It needs to be brought up at the right time and not rushed into. Both partners have to be open to the idea and neither of you can be forced to sign any documents. If possible the documents should be signed at least 21 days in advance of the wedding. This ensures everything is in place before the big day and means that in the future a judge wouldn’t be able to throw out the agreement because they believed one party was coerced into signing.

pre-nuptial agreement

Do you need a pre-nuptial agreement?

Before you spend money on legal advice, you should think carefully about whether a pre-nuptial agreement is necessary. They could be beneficial to couples who:

  • Already have a property
  • Have assets gained through a divorce or inheritance that you want to secure
  • Want to prevent an acrimonious end to the relationship
  • Want to provide for children from a previous marriage

Seek legal advice

If you decide that a pre-nuptial agreement would be beneficial in your relationship, then it’s important to seek the right legal advice. Both parties should do this separately to prevent accusations in the future that either one of you was pushed into making the agreement. A qualified solicitor will be able to explain exactly what you’re signing and the implications of the agreement. If you have different solicitors working for each party, they will be able to agree that the document is fair to both of them and won’t be biased either way.

Discussing financial arrangements

During the process, you will both need to disclose your full financial dealings. This includes any property and assets, as well as regular earnings. The party who has requested the pre-nuptial agreement will usually put together a draft document with their solicitor. This will then be passed to the partner’s solicitor and detailed discussions will take place until you are both happy with what has been included.

There are online sites that offer a free service, but going down this route isn’t advisable. They will only provide you with template documents; whereas a qualified family law solicitor will be able to construct an agreement that’s tailored to your specific needs. They will also make sure that the document abides by the current laws, reducing the risk that a judge wouldn’t uphold it on the future.pre-nuptial agreement

Once the pre-nuptial agreement has been approved and signed by both parties, you need to keep copies in case they are required. Each of you should have a copy and your solicitors will also file one. In the event that you need to use your agreement during a divorce case, your solicitor will be able to produce it before the judge.

Altering the agreement

Pre-nuptial agreements are not final and they can be altered if necessary in the future. They should be revisited if there has been a change in the financial standing of either party or when children are born. If you need to make any changes to the agreement you should speak to your solicitor.

If you want to seek legal advice regarding pre-nuptial agreements, The Law Society has a search facility that you can use by visiting http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/find-a-solicitor/.

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One Response to “How to arrange a pre-nuptial agreement”

  1. WilliamboW

    I cannot thank you enough for the forum post.Much thanks again. Fantastic. Monnett

    Reply

About Catherine Stern

About Catherine Stern

Catherine Stern is a freelance writer with a background in marketing and PR. She currently writes web content on a range of subjects, from finance and business to travel and home improvements. As a working single mum of two young boys she understands the pressures that today’s working parents face and the topics they want to read about.

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