A written agreement before marriage (a Pre-Nuptial Agreement) is a common sense step you may wish to take to protect your personal and business assets. It can help show the strength of your relationship by being able to discuss practicalities and finances in an upfront way rather than leaving them to niggle away at the relationship.
This is particularly important where you have built up assets prior to your relationship or you have children from a previous relationship. If you later get a divorce there are statutes setting out how finances should be dealt with. If a Pre nuptial Agreement has been made then this is one of the factors taken into account by the court when deciding what is fair and reasonable.
To make it a strong factor there should be a full and fair disclosure of both your financial assets within the Pre-Nuptial Agreement and take into account not only your future together, but existing children and any further children the marriage may produce. When entering into a Pre-Nuptial Agreement it is important that both of you take independent legal advice before an agreement is signed. The agreement should be signed at least 21 days and preferably three months before the wedding takes place
It is possible to enter a similar agreement after you have married. If you do not intend getting married you may want to consider a cohabitation agreement.
Chubb Bulleid draft individually tailored Nuptial Agreements for our clients who are about to either marry for the first time, or marry again.