When people think of pre-marital agreements they generally think it is the reserve of celebrities and millionaires. However this does not necessarily have to be the case – the fact is agreements like this are in place to ensure that people can be properly looked after and that everyone’s interests are best served in the event of any problems (plus there is the additional benefit of avoiding a long drawn out and potentially costly legal battle!)
The first tip for drafting a pre-marital agreement is…don’t wait! Most legal experts recommend at least 60 days before the wedding day to create a pre-marital agreement. This gives people time to go over all the issues involved and allows time for redrafting if necessary.
Death and divorce
It is not a pleasant thought but the main things an agreement like this prepares people for is death and divorce. Your agreement needs to be ready for these possibilities because when either of these things happens is when unpleasantness and disputes can occur.
When preparing an agreement the parties involved should have the right information to hand such as:
- Tax returns
- Specific asset disclosure
- Items of sentimental value
- Any other information you may feel is relevant
Simply put, the advice is the more information you have the better the agreement!
Another aspect legal professionals need to consider is what someone gives up when entering a partnership – for example, they may need to sell their house in order to move in with someone else. These considerations should be reflected in the agreement.
There should also be additional compensation if they get child support or maintenance payments from a previous partner and this should form part of the agreement as well.
Some people can be alarmed at the prospect of signing an agreement like this before they get married. Marriage is a big commitment and it is important to be aware of that. However, there is the unfortunate reality that things can go wrong and an agreement is simply something that prepares people for the worst case scenario rather than anticipating it will happen.
This is why at Larcomes we are not only trained in the legal aspects of pre-marital agreements but equally we believe in guiding people through the emotional difficulties as well and getting them through the process as carefully and sensitively as possible.
If you would like to know more about the pre-marital agreement services we offer (or indeed any other of our family services) please contact us at 023 9244 8100