Proposing This Valentine’s Day? You Should Also Propose a Prenup

Boyfriend proposing to girlfriend - the proposal

It’s the time of year for romance and grand gestures, including getting down on one knee and popping the question. But don’t get carried away in the heat of the moment and forget about the practical aspects; make sure your London divorce lawyers are on hand to advise.

Are you planning on proposing this Valentine’s Day? If you are, you’re not alone. It may not be the most popular day anymore since Christmas Eve knocked it off its pedestal, but Valentine’s Day is still seen as a great chance to commit your love by many. With all this love flying around, no-one likes to think that they might end up as a divorce statistic. It’s not something you want to acknowledge, especially not so soon after proposing, but your marriage’s survival chances are pretty much fifty-fifty.

So how do you insure against the breakdown of your marriage so you don’t come out emotionally and financially broken? And how do you introduce a prenuptial agreement into the equation, without offending your new fiance or fiancee?

A romantic couple on Valentine's day, they can get a prenup from a legal 500 family law firm

What Exactly is a Prenup?

A prenup isn’t a legally binding document, as some would have you believe. Rather, it’s a set of agreements put together by you and your future husband or wife’s London divorce lawyers about what the terms of your marriage are and what happens if something goes wrong. Recently, lifestyle clauses have become more popular in prenups, which has confused the process even further. You can look up prenup templates on the internet, but this is a quick way to become drowned in very unromantic jargon. It’s far easier to simply ask your legal 500 family law firm for advice.

Just because prenups aren’t legally binding, doesn’t mean they don’t hold substantial sway in the courtroom. The court has said a prenup is of “decisive weight” and “magnetic importance” and, unless the ruling requested is completely unreasonable, nine times out of ten, they’ll decide with the prenup.

Why Are Prenups Important?

If you decide to go ahead in creating your own, both you and your betrothed need to find separate divorce lawyers. Look through the legal 500 family law to both find the best divorce lawyers in London and start thinking about what you would expect to keep from your marriage in the event of a breakdown. Who keeps the house? Is one of you choosing to give up your career to look after the children? If so, do you expect a monthly allowance if the marriage ends? Even down to what happens to the family dog, a prenup can save you from a lot of mess, hurt emotions and even financial ruin if something happens to your marriage.

A prenup is like house insurance. Just like you wouldn’t buy a house without insuring it against whatever disaster might strike, you shouldn’t enter into a marriage without insuring it against the worst, either. Get advice about your prenup as soon as possible, as it should be finalised a month before your wedding.

How Do I Ask For a Prenup?

A natural concern when thinking about prenups is how to bring them into a conversation without seeming cynical, selfish or unloving towards your partner. Some great tips for broaching the topic of a prenup are to bring it into the conversation slowly, as a suggestion. Calmly but clearly say what your fears are and why you think it would benefit both of you to have peace of mind.

Even if your assets aren’t substantial, a prenup can help lay everything out clearly and rationally while your feelings towards each other are still loving, rather than any feelings of hurt and anger that might appear in the wake of a divorce. With the help of a prenup, whatever happens, hopefully you can still enjoy being in one another’s lives.

What If We Don’t Want to Get Married?

Marriage isn’t for everyone. If you want to avoid the tradition of marriage and instead choose to cohabitate and maybe even start a family together as an unmarried couple, a prenup is still of great importance. In this case, it’s called a cohabitation agreement and is designed to ensure that any assets, finances or family you share are accounted for in the event of a split.

Cohabitation among unmarried couples is rising sharply, which leads to a whole host of legal battles that the court system hasn’t yet caught up with. Experienced London divorce lawyers can help you put together a cohabitation agreement that will give you both peace of mind and save your relationship unnecessary stress.

With loving intentions and expert advice, a prenup can become just another stage in the build up to your marriage. Its existence will help you both maintain peace of mind and put aside worries and tensions that might arise, so you can enjoy a long and loving married life.

To further discuss the steps involved in putting together a prenuptial or cohabitation agreement, contact legal 500 family law firm KMJ Solicitors today.

Clayton spent five years working in family law with a firm in Australia before moving to the UK in 1999. He deals with all aspects of family law, specialising in all family matters, offshore trusts, company structures, international law, prenuptial agreements, high net worth cases and cohabitation law.