Legal Advice from Jennifer Roulston, family law partner at FDR Law, based at the Stockton Heath office
Why make a prenup?
Q: I am about to marry for the second time. I own a house and my partner doesn’t. Would it be sensible to make a prenuptial agreement?
A: Nobody enters a marriage expecting it to fail. But, like buying an insurance policy, it’s a sensible move to protect yourself, just in case things go wrong. With 42% of marriages ending in divorce and an even higher rate for second and third marriages, it’s a wise precaution.
A ‘prenup’ is most likely to be beneficial where the assets of the two people joining together are uneven or either side has children from a previous relationship. In your case, as you have a house and your partner doesn’t, it is entirely reasonable to want to protect the value of this asset if the marriage should end.
Some people say it kills romance, entering into a relationship expecting it to fail. Hopefully your partner will see it as a chance to declare that he or she is marrying you for love, not for any potential spoils they may win if it all turns sour.
Most divorce courts take prenups into account when deciding on the distribution of assets but at the moment they are not legally binding. However, this could be about to change. The Law Society has made a recommendation to the government to alter the law to make them enforceable in the courts.
Over the last few years prenups have become more and more common. I suspect we will eventually reach a point where a prenup becomes a normal ingredient of preparing for marriage, particularly for second timers. It will certainly avoid a lot of the damaging battles that currently take place during divorce proceedings.
To find out more about making a prenuptial agreement, please get in touch with Jennifer Roulston at FDR Law, Tel 01925 604713 or email me at Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org.