Marriage is an exciting time when two people tie their lives together and become husband and wife. Unfortunately, a lot of marriages can end in divorce – in 2021, England and Wales saw 113,305 couples divorcing, which was a 9.6% increase compared to 2020. When divorce is considered, there are a lot of matters that need to be addressed regarding both you and your partner. Before you get married, we would recommend you look into a prenuptial agreement so that each of you can protect your assets and finances separately. This means if you get a divorce, you’ll each keep a part of your finances and assets without them being included in the divorce proceedings. Read on to find out more about the benefits of having a prenuptial agreement in place.
Ensuring financial stability for you both
During marriage, two spouses may have different incomes – one may be bigger than the other, or one spouse may have taken time away from work or their career to look after their children. In these cases, the partner who is earning less can include certain clauses in the agreement that state the financial support that the higher-paid spouse will provide in the case of a divorce. There are a certain number of ways one spouse can be financially supported even before divorce, which can include clauses that specify how much the lower-paid partner should receive weekly if they are taking time off work to look after children. If you do divorce, the agreement can outline how the lower-paid spouse will be supported.
You’ll be shielded from your partner’s debts
If your spouse has incurred debts over time, particularly during your marriage, you may be subject to paying some of the debt off, even if you didn’t have anything to do with it. A benefit of having a prenuptial agreement in place is that you can clarify how to split the debt, should there be a divorce. If you need to discuss debt during a divorce when emotions are already running high, it can be a difficult task when you are both feeling argumentative. If you talk about your debts in the early stages of your marriage, you can both talk through how to split the debt if you do decide to divorce down the line.
The divorce process will be smoother
Sometimes, marriages don’t go to plan and you and your partner may decide to separate. Having a prenuptial agreement in place can actually reduce the amount of time your divorce takes, as the technicalities have already been addressed. This can reduce time, money and stress. If you have already decided how assets or financials are going to be split, there is no need for court battles to establish who gets certain possessions.
They encourage conversations about money
Talking about money with your spouse is often a difficult process. However, it’s important that you both understand how you are both aligned financially. It is also an ideal opportunity to talk through your aspirations and get on the same page regarding how your finances will work together.
During marriage, you may decide to keep your finances separate or you may want to open a joint bank account. You may want to discuss each other’s debts or discuss buying a house together down the line. A prenuptial agreement allows you to be open and honest with your partner, as you can discuss what you see for yourselves in the future.
You can protect your property
Prenuptial agreements allow you to define the assets and finances that you owned prior to the marriage, so you can keep them solely as you own. This is known as a separation of property. Assets here could include a home you owned, a bank account you owned or investments you made before you got married. These are only a small number of the assets you can protect. Prenuptial agreements are also ideal for protecting future assets, such as intellectual property, money from family trusts or income from a business you want to start. In simple terms, prenups allow you to keep assets that were your own before your marriage and they won’t be subject to the divorce proceedings.
You can keep assets and heirlooms in your family
You may have some family assets that you want to keep protected from the divorce proceedings, such as investment properties or business. If you have children from a previous marriage and you would like them to become beneficiaries of these particular assets, then a prenup is the recommended route to take. Inheritance and estate are also available to distribute without a prenup in place.
They provide guidance on other topics
The main benefit of a prenup agreement is that you can work out your finances between you both, to understand who owns what should you want a divorce. However, it can also cover other areas, such as what happens to possessions, pets or sentimental items should you divorce and what happens with photographs or private information.
Advice on Prenuptial Agreements
Having a prenup in place ensures that your own assets are protected from divorce proceedings. It also makes the divorce process a lot smoother, as a discussion has already taken place to agree on where each spouse’s assets go. To find out more about prenuptial agreements and how you can make one, contact our expert solicitors today – they’ll be happy to assist you through the process as it is important that you follow certain criteria to ensure that any pre-nuptial agreement is upheld by the Court. Alternatively, take a look at our other services.