Couples need advice marrying ‘for richer and poorer’
Thousands of couples who tie the knot each year have no real idea of what they are saying “I do” to, a leading family lawyer has warned.
As the UK celebrates National Marriage Week 2009, which runs from February 7 to 14, Andrew Woolley of leading family law firm Woolley & Co is urging people to take full stock of the legal aspects of their nuptials, and the ongoing financial implications.
The family law expert says he wants to see more done to educate couples about exactly how their finances become entwined, for richer or poorer, when they walk down the aisle. He said: “Marriage is not just an emotional bonding of two individuals and their families, it is also a legally binding agreement with far reaching effects that many blissfully happy couples still don’t give a second thought to. It means they can be left very vulnerable.”
“The theme of marriage week this year is celebrating commitment and I want to make sure people are thinking about that on all levels so they start their life together on the right footing.”
When a couple gets married, their money and some possessions become joint assets – or liabilities. Once married, a partner can take on some responsibility for, or relinquish some control over, things like bank accounts, property, savings, pension funds, debts and inherited wealth. It means partners have a claim over these if things do go wrong at a later stage and this is where, more often than not, conflict can occur and where the time it takes to sort out a split is lengthened – and of course a lengthy divorce can mean an even greater cost of divorce.
“A prenuptial agreement drawn up before a couple marries can avoid such complications and help clearly define the commitment they are making,” added Andrew, who encourages all couples to take expert legal advice from a family law specialist as part of their wedding preparations.
Woolley & Co has 15 family law experts based across the Midlands, the South and London, tackling all aspects of family law. For more advice, visit www.family-lawfirm.co.uk.
Further reading: Legal Implications of Marriage