Many couples planning to marry may have heard about pre-nuptial agreements and how one may protect their personal assets should they eventually divorce. But they may not know how to go about drawing one up, or be fearful about the potential hassle.
The main way to avoid unnecessary bother and to ensure that the agreement would avoid any challenge in the divorce courts is by using the professional services of a solicitor. The idea behind a pre-nuptial agreement is that it will protect the assets that both parties take into the marriage, should the marriage fail or either individual subsequently die. For those reasons, it would be very sensible to consult a specialist solicitor when making a prenup.
If you have a skilled solicitor draw up your pre-nuptial agreement it is more likely that it will stand up to a challenge from an unhappy spouse should you divorce, as well as being more likely that UK courts will accept it. In the current legal situation, English courts do not have to recognise prenups. But the appeal courts ruled in 2009 that they can be taken into account when the court is deciding on how the assets of a marriage should be divided.
Although there is nothing to stop a couple producing their own prenup, having the advice of a lawyer will help make sure that it is more likely to be taken into account by the court. An experienced solicitor can also give advice on matters that the couple might not know about, such as the fact that prenups must be signed more than 21 days before the wedding so that it cannot later be claimed that it was signed under duress.
Aside from hiring a solicitor to help in the drawing up of a pre-nuptial agreement, one of the best ways to avoid hassle is by both parties appreciating why it is necessary. Ironically, this has to be discussed when the couple are starting to look forward to their wedding. But despite the aura of romance, both will need to take off their “rose-tinted spectacles” and take a look at what might happen should the marriage end in divorce.
Although couples who have been married before might understand why it is worth drawing up a pre-nuptial agreement, those getting married for the first time might find it harder to think about. But if they understand why a prenup is in their best interests and seek professional advice, it will take away any hassle.
Thinking of making a UK Pre-nuptial Agreement? Contact Bonallack & Bishop – specialist solicitors who can help prepare your online prenuptial agreement. Tim Bishop is senior partner at the firm, responsible for all major strategic decisions. He has grown the firm by 1000% in 13 years and has plans for continued expansion.
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