Prenuptial Agreements – The Basics
Not too long ago, prenuptial agreements were mostly regarded unfavorably and with disdain by people, as well as courts. It was presumed that these agreements were against the basic notions of marriage, which was supposed to be a sacred and intimate bond between two individuals. Many thought that this way, marriages were turned into nothing more than financial agreements.
These days, however, things have changed, both in terms of values and beliefs of the UK society. While there are still couples who consider prenuptial agreements a bit pessimistic or unromantic, the majority view these agreements as practical solutions with which they can settle any potential issues before tying the knot.
The main purpose of prenups
What people usually don’t realize is that prenuptial agreements are actually intended to make marriages work without problems and more smoothly. Numerous recent studies have shown that around 50% of first marriages and around 60% of second ones end in a divorce. With this in mind, couples, who have prenup agreements signed, can make their financial complications and issues that go with a divorce less complex and painful.
When should couples consider getting prenuptial agreement best practices?
- If there are significant financial assets involved.
- If one spouse owns an entire business or a part of it.
- If one spouse, or both of them, have children from previous marriages.
- If one spouse has much more financial assets than the other.
- If there is some significant inheritance expected.
- If one spouse is going to pursue a degree while the other provides support.
- If one spouse is significantly older than the other.
The details involved
These days, prenup agreements do not only include the division of material, financial and other assets in the case of a divorce. They also include the information as to who is responsible for what. Some prenup agreements accurately specify various financial obligations and household duties of each spouse. They also include any children and the methods of how they are going to be raised.
Not always the best option
While many couples enter into these agreements with hopes of solving their problems and challenges preemptively, that is not always the case. In some recent studies that have been undertaken throughout the UK, almost 25% of participants have said that they have seen a notable increase in prenup issues and challenges.
If a couple is uncertain whether to sign a prenuptial agreement, they should set it aside for some of the following reasons:
- If the agreement places certain limitations on custody rights or child support.
- If one spouse hides or misrepresents liabilities or certain assets.
- If one spouse lacks legal representation. When drawing up the prenuptial agreement, each spouse should be represented by their own lawyer.
- If the agreement doesn’t contain any potential spousal support. The majority of issues and challenges usually involve spousal support. These mostly come as a result of unchecked asset build-up during the marriage, which is not accounted by the agreement.
- If one or both spouses are under duress. These agreements should be drawn up and finalized at least 30 days before the wedding.
- If one spouse is under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the signing.
For couples, who want to properly deal with post-divorce challenges and issues, it is always advisable to update their prenup agreements with postnuptial agreements, as well.