Talking to your fiancé about a prenuptial agreement
What’s the one thing most people forget to sort out when they are planning their wedding?
- Dodgy disco DJ
The reality is that 42 per cent of couples in this country would benefit from a pre-nup. That’s the number of marriages which end in divorce according to latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.
Separately, research commissioned for Scottish Widows in 2009 suggested that 56% of those yet to be married would consider a prenuptial agreement.
However, currently, most don’t decide to get a properly prepared, witnessed and recorded agreement before they walk down the aisle, leaving a significant pre-nup gap in the UK.
It’s something that no one likes talking about when planning a wedding. But you may like things even less if the marriage doesn’t turn out as you hope and you lose 50 per cent of that inheritance you didn’t safeguard, or the assets from your first house – or even your collection of classic Star Wars figures.
All these things will be assets to be divided in the event of a divorce if they are not safeguarded with a pre-nup. What is the lesser of two evils: an awkward chat on the issue as you plan the wedding or losing a portion of the belongings you take into a marriage?
The case for a pre-nup
It’s a bit like life insurance or a will. These things are less difficult to talk about and more commonplace. A pre-nup can and should be thought of in the same way.
How do you raise this thorny issue with your fiance though? It’s probably more difficult to ask: will you pre-nup? Than it is to say, will you marry me!
So, here are the facts.
- Prenups are commonplace the world over.
- They protect the assets you have going into a marriage in the event you have to come out of that marriage – a bit like taking an umbrella in case it rains
- They are not relevant just to rich people and celebrities – though celebrity splits can help us give some context.
- Britney Spears had a pre-nup. Worth an estimated $120 million, she gave ex-husband £1 million when they split.
- Paul McCartney had no pre-nup. He had to give Heather Mills £24.3 million when they divorced (from his £800 million fortune) – a significantly higher percentage.
What percentage of your wealth are you willing to happily hand over to your partner rather than sort out the paperwork in advance?
How to… sell the pre-nup to your partner
You could ask your fiancé:
- If our marriage did break down – would you be happy that I would get a share of any inheritance, lottery win or property that you own?
- How would you want us to split things if things don’t work out?
Alternatively, let us help.
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