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This week is national marriage week and whilst it may not necessarily be in some people’s diaries, Wednesday, 14th February is a time when many couples' thoughts turn to marriage. Family law Partner, Richard Middlehurst, explains why, if you are contemplating marriage, you should think about a Pre-Nuptial agreement.
Whilst your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, the fact that 1 in 3 marriages end in divorce makes many cynical about the institution of marriage. Notwithstanding this and the increasing numbers who are living together, more and more couples are marrying later in life following either bereavement or, more commonly, a divorce.
As increasing numbers of people enter into second relationships, the need to ensure that your assets, income and your pensions are protected, is becoming a stark reality.
Two years ago a famous TV personality, Lynda Bellingham, who following her third marriage, failed to protect her children from her second husband in the event of her death. This much publicised case emphasised the importance of thinking ahead. By not making proper provision and believing “it’ll be okay” when she died, her children lost out and had to watch their inheritance being squandered by their stepfather
Or take the case of the widower who remarried, only to be divorced by his wife two years later, with her taking half of his wealth. Or, parents who have loaned monies to purchase a property for their son or daughter, only to find a significant proportion going to an outgoing partner upon the relationship breaking down.
Whilst a Pre-Nuptial or living together agreement is not the most romantic valentine, in the above situations it is worth considering. It can save a lot of money and heartache, particularly in the case of divorcees who vow “never to marry again”.
So with Valentine’s day on the horizon, whilst leading with your heart, it might be worth first, thinking with your head.