The new legislation on social distancing has resulted in many couples having to postpone their wedding, with many being rearranged for later in 2020, or for early next year. Of course, this is an entirely unforeseen and unprecedented circumstance, but upsetting nonetheless, especially when you’ve spent months organising it, and have been enjoying the build up to the big day.
With the current uncertainty as to how the economy will cope during, and in the aftermath of, COVID-19, couples now have the opportunity to contemplate the fact that the world is rapidly changing, and that financial plans can change quickly and drastically when things go wrong. A pragmatic approach to finances will enable couples to protect their financial position to give them the best chance to weather the pending financial storm.
Pushing back this important life event to the end of the year or later, has provided couples with a unique opportunity to reconsider their finances in light of the current circumstances. They therefore have an opportunity, at this juncture, to consider whether they would want to enter into a pre-nuptial agreement.
Pre-nuptial agreements can provide financial certainty and are an excellent tool to ensure that in the event that a relationship breaks down the agreement entered into deals with the division of such things as:
- The family home;
- Business assets;
- Valuable tangible assets, such as cars, jewellery, and artwork;
- Savings and investments; and
- Support by way of spousal maintenance.
Having a plan for how you intend to deal with your finances can help take away some of the uncertainty and anguish, in the event of relationship breakdown.
Whilst pre-nuptial agreements are not legally binding, provided they are entered into in accordance with specific criteria and you obtain a parity of expert legal advice from a family solicitor who has experience within this area of work it will ensure that they are considered by a Court and given significant weight should there be a breakdown in the marriage and a disagreement as to the division of the finances.. However, even where the Court needs to amend the terms of the agreement in the interest of fairness, the agreement will remain a useful tool in guiding the Court as to your intentions at the time. It also narrows down your claims against each other’s finances, especially when you have both entered into the agreement freely and with the benefit of expert legal advice. This, by extension, puts you back in control at this potentially tumultuous time, and should help to keep as much of the sting out of the situation as possible.
If you would like any further information on any of the above, or would like to discuss your particular circumstances and how Knights could help, please contact a member of our Family team.