If you’re planning your wedding, it’s unlikely that signing a prenuptial agreement will be high on your to-do list. Many people still consider the idea of signing such an agreement to be unromantic – why would you want to make plans for your separation before you’ve even tied the knot? There are a lot of myths surrounding prenuptial agreements that prevent couples from giving them proper considerations. Here, our family lawyers address these concerns as well as detailing the many benefits of signing a prenuptial agreement.
What is a prenuptial agreement?
A prenuptial agreement (or prenup) is a formal agreement entered into by couples before they get married setting out how their assets will be shared if their marriage ends in divorce. When a couple gets married, assets that they accrue individually or together are considered matrimonial property and are jointly owned unless otherwise specified. On divorce, there are default rules about how this property will be shared. A prenuptial agreement will replace these rules, setting out clearly how assets should be divided. For civil partners, pre-civil partnership agreements can be signed with the same effect.
Aren’t prenups just for wealthy or famous people?
No, anyone can sign a prenup and with the high divorce rates in Scotland, signing a prenuptial agreement is a sensible option for all couples.
Won’t it seem unromantic if I ask my partner to sign a prenup?
While it might seem unromantic to bring up the signing of a prenup ahead of your wedding, having a transparent and honest conversation with your partner about your plans for the future can be hugely valuable. Putting in place arrangements for your financial security can be the first commitment you will take together as well as allowing you to talk frankly about any worries or concerns you may have.
Are prenups legally binding?
There is a common misconception that prenups do not have legal effect in Scotland, but this is not the case. Courts in Scotland will have regard for any agreement entered into by a couple when it comes the division of matrimonial property, provided that specific requirements are met:
- The agreement was fair and reasonable at the time the couple entered into it
- Both parties had the opportunity to take legal advice before signing
- Neither party was pressured into signing the agreement
Is it expensive to prepare a prenup?
No, prenups are a relatively inexpensive means of settling financial matters in the event of a divorce. Couples should consider the amount of time and money that may otherwise be spent if they are required to make arrangements after separation, not to mention the stress that can be involved in reaching a settlement further down the line.
Contact our Family Law Solicitors based in Grantown-on-Spey & Inverness serving the Highlands and Scotland