Considering a trip down the aisle? Make sure you also make a trip to a family lawyer in London. Draw up a prenuptial agreement to keep you and your family safe against the future.
Gone are the days when a trip to their divorce lawyer in London to draw up a prenuptial agreement was something only done by the rich and famous. Either that, or they were marrying someone in a considerably different wealth bracket to them and wanted to make sure they were marrying them for the right reasons, à la Hugh Hefner and Crystal Harris. Prenuptial agreements had a stigma attached to them; so much so that the prenup blowup has become a TV trope, significant enough to be anything from an episode of a series to an entire film plot.
No longer is a prenup such a taboo, however — and quite rightly so. It’s common sense. Now that equality is finally catching up and powerful, wealthy women are becoming more commonplace, a prenup has never been more important. Whether you’re a male, female, or a same-sex couple, here’s why a prenuptial agreement is always a great idea.
1. Steel Yourself Against a Custody Battle
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reportedly had a cast-iron prenup when it came to their property portfolio and shared wealth, but custody over their children wasn’t so easy to decide on. After fighting for months for 50% custody, it wasn’t until the couple decided to work together for what was best for the children and put aside their own differences that this was settled.
If you plan on having children, or even if you don’t, make sure you know what will happen to them as early as the prenup stage. Do you both want equal custody? What are the conditions to this? Do you both have to stay in London? Or will you find yourself in an international divorce battle like Madonna and Guy Ritchie? Prepare for all eventualities and ensure that your family lawyers in London have it all laid out.
2. Don’t Find Yourself Paying Unjust Maintenance Fees
Prenups and maintenance payments aren’t just one way anymore. More and more men are seeking maintenance payments from their high-earning ex-wives, too. Yet, we’re still searching for gender equality. The expectation that being the woman gives the right to seek maintenance payments can still rear its head in court divorce battles.
If you’re smart, irregardless of your gender, you’ll protect yourself with a prenup. Actress Kaley Cuoco has just proved how valuable an iron-clad prenup is in her divorce from a professional tennis player. His income, though high, doesn’t compare to hers as one of the highest earning US actresses, and he sought alimony. The prenup saw that his request was swiftly thrown out of court.
3. Make Sure Shared Assets Are Split Equally
It’s always wonderful to build up a property portfolio — and with two incomes not one, that becomes far more of a possibility. Make sure it’s clear what percentage of any money earned and spent will be split if you go different ways, though. All assets can cause issues, but none so much as the family home — where memories get made and where your social circle and life is.
Chances are that, even when you see eye to eye and are still in love, you’re both going to have a level of bias about who deserves what. Rather than risk the argument, find one of the best family lawyers in London to weight assets on a variety of scales. From income to input, a top divorce lawyer in London will be able to set things down in a way that’s fair and will avoid lengthier battles in the event of a divorce.
4. Keep Yourself Safe From Drastic Lifestyle Change
If you decide to stay home and be either a stay-at-home husband or wife to look, you don’t want it to come back to bite you years from now, when you’re separated with a hole on your CV and nothing in the bank. Being a stay-at-home parent may be considered an important role, but it won’t get you too far if you’re in your 40s and searching for your first job.
Is it the aspiration for you and your spouse that one of you stays home with the children when they arrive? Or even that one of you stays home to keep the home? Then make sure the terms of this are clearly laid out and maintenance payments are clear. Otherwise, you could find yourself on a swift trajectory down the Monopoly board property ladder if your marriage ends, possibly with kids in tow.
5. Make it Clear What’s Expected — and Protect Against Adultery and Abuse
A prenup doesn’t just protect your bank account and lifestyle; it can also protect your physical and mental health. A prenup written by one of the best family law solicitors in London or New York can be iron-clad, but if there’s abuse, adultery or mistreatment on either side, then it very swiftly crumbles. Donald Trump himself knows this when Ivana Zelinckova challenged their prenup on grounds of abuse and walked away with considerably more than their settlement was originally capped at in the prenup.
Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas are still happily married, but when they married in 2001 they assuaged their fears in their prenup. Douglas’s history of infidelity in his first marriage meant Jones wrote in a “straying fee” of $5 million. In return, Douglas added a confidentiality clause.
Male or female, old or young, same-sex or heterosexual and no matter your income, there’s always a place for a prenup. Still not convinced that you should head to a divorce lawyer in London for your prenuptial agreement? Steven Spielberg is a cautionary tale. He lost half his wealth to his ex-wife Amy Irving, after their prenuptial agreement was thrown out of court because it was written on the back of a cocktail napkin. Metaphorically, it may be useful, as it could mop up the emotional spillage of their marriage. But alas: in a court of law, it turned out to be defunct.