Prenuptial agreements – taking a practical approach to marriage

Why a pre-nuptial agreement is something every couple must consider

More couples in Scotland are choosing to have a legally binding agreement in place before they marry to protect their individual assets in the event of the breakdown of the relationship. So what are prenuptial agreements, what are they for and how do they work?

Agreed, on the face of it, a prenuptial agreement isn’t the most romantic part of planning a wedding and many couples (understandably) don’t like to think of their relationship failing before they are even married. But think about it this way; when you buy a car, you don’t think about it being involved in an accident, yet you still insure it for this. And that’s really all a prenuptial agreement is, an insurance policy to protect your assets in case of future problems or disputes.

And unfortunately, statistics show that a percentage of marriages do end in divorce, although no one enters into them with this intention. Scottish government statistics reveal that there were 7,883 divorces granted in 2019-20, an increase of 7 per cent compared to 2018-19.

A pre-nuptial agreement is simply an insurance policy for your hard work before and during marriage

In terms of the reasons for putting such an agreement in place pre-wedding, it’s really pretty simple. You have worked hard to build up your assets prior to meeting your partner. And while you’re happy to share everything with them while you’re married, it makes perfect sense to insure your assets in case of any future breakdown in the relationship.

For many couples, it’s important to have peace of mind that this issue has already been settled and this can save a lot of money and heartache further down the line.

Typical examples of prenuptial agreements are:

When one person has invested significantly more in purchasing a property for the couple

When one of the partners earns significantly more money than the other

When someone is getting married for the second time and has accrued assets as a result of their previous marriage

When a person has children from a previous relationship and wants to protect their assets for the children

To protect one party’s interest in a family business

Beyond these examples, a prenuptial agreement can also be used to establish what happens to a person’s assets in the event of their death. This can have the benefit of mitigating any legal challenges after the person has passed away.

In Scotland, an expertly prepared prenuptial agreement is legally binding and enforceable, so it’s best to seek the help of an expert family lawyer in this area. Your solicitor will have experience in these matters and can help to guide and advise you while making the whole process as easy as possible for everyone involved.

At Gibson Kerr, we know that everyone’s circumstances are different, so if you want tailored advice on preparing your prenup agreement, contact our prenuptial solicitor expert, Fiona Rasmusen on 0131 226 9161 or email [email protected] and she will be happy to help. Find out more about Gibson Kerr here

Gibson Kerr where family comes first.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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