Wedding bells or alarm bells?
Traditionally the Christmas period is a popular time to get engaged. Many people like to tie in a proposal with a joyous time of the year, and with Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day all falling within this period, it probably comes as no surprise that there are so many proposals at this time.
Getting married is one of life’s greatest events and typically costs tens of thousands of pounds. Despite couples being prepared to spend a small fortune on their big day, very few give regard to the financial consequences if their relationship breaks down. Sadly, half of marriages break down and this is something that should be carefully considered. Many couples view the idea of a pre-nuptial agreement (pre-nup) as unromantic and undermining the very sanctity of marriage. For many, part of their vows will involve them promising each other the following:
‘To have and to hold from this day forward,
for better for worse,
for richer for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love and to cherish,
till death us do part.’
They think that entering a pre-nup will jinx their wedded bliss. After all, planning for failure means planning to fail, right? Wrong! Making a pre-nup encourages:
- openness and honesty;
- a couple to plan their future; and
- protecting each other no matter what.
A pre-nup causes a couple to talk openly and honestly about their respective finances. The main topic married couples argue about, over and above chores and snoring, is money! Many people have never been given the tools to manage their money effectively and for many it is highly personal. An experienced and sensitive lawyer can help lay solid foundations which can help strengthen their marriage, not to mention save countless arguments down the road.
A pre-nup is also an opportunity to discuss issues such as life insurance, estate planning and how to care for children.
A pre-nup does not always have to be viewed as one party protecting their assets, but actually protecting the other individual no matter what happens. A pre-nup will only be upheld if it is freely entered into, with each party having a full appreciation of its implications unless in the circumstances it would be unfair.
If you or someone close to you is planning to get married in the near future, a pre-nup can be a great way to plan for a safe, stable and secure future.