So, you’ve popped the question (or had a proposal), set a date and started planning your big day.
It’s a golden time; filled with romantic walks, candlelit meals and long chats about growing old together.
This hardly seems the ideal time to suggest an asset protection agreement, or prenuptial agreement, as they’re also known.
However, it’s becoming an increasingly common conversation for couples to have as they prepare to marry.
A pragmatic view
Prenuptial agreements are no longer reserved for the rich and famous. Today, more and more people are taking a pragmatic view of their lives and marriages.
And there are good reasons why.
An estimated 42% of all marriages in the UK now end in divorce. For couples getting married for the first time, 45% will divorce. While around 31% of second marriages (including at least one person in their second marriage) fail to stand the test of time.
In fact, around a third of marriages are between couples where one or both are marrying for the second time.
Whether you want to avoid the mistakes of a previous marriage. Or take a hard view given the statistics, it’s worth considering whether an agreement is right for you.
Benefits of a prenuptial agreement
Prenuptial agreements are contracts, which both parties sign before getting married. They set out how the spouses will divide their money and property (assets) should they ever get divorced.
The benefit of agreements is that they save time, money and stress should your marriage end in divorce. As you’ve already agreed how you’ll share your assets, you’re likely to avoid long financial settlement proceedings.
If you’re contributing more to the marriage in monetary terms, this agreement protects your financial security and that of your children. Without an agreement, it is likely that you will have to share everything equally. Which could represent a big financial loss – and less inheritance for your children?Agreements are also an effective way of protecting family assets and heirlooms. Or other properties that you acquired before the marriage.
But prenuptial agreements aren’t just about preparing for marriage breakdown. They can also help strengthen your relationship and resolve potential problems. By talking through financial matters you get issues out in the open and avoid arguments and misunderstandings down the road. After all, you’ll have to discuss money at some point in your relationship, so why not start now?