"Darling, will you…enter into a pre-nuptial agreement?”

Posted by Catherine Morgan on
Pre-nuptial agreements
A bride in New York who cancelled her wedding after refusing to sign a nuptial agreement, has hit the headlines. Rather than losing the deposit she had paid for the venue, she instead threw a party for 60 disadvantaged children and their families.

Although this was an incredibly generous gesture and a positive outcome was achieved from a sad situation; this story highlights a problem that I foresee becoming a more regular occurrence as nuptial agreements become more common.

Many individuals are now actively considering what would happen financially if their marriage breaks down and the need for them to address this by entering into a nuptial agreement with their fiancé.

Unfortunately, as demonstrated by the above article, this view is not shared by everybody and, in some cases, where a nuptial agreement is proposed by one of the parties, it can be received badly by the other.

Not all roses and chocolates…

We see two common arguments against having a nuptial agreement:

  • The argument against entering into a nuptial agreement is that a level of trust should exist between the couple getting married and that in itself negates the need for a nuptial agreement in the first place.  Let’s be clear, the suggestion of entering into a nuptial agreement should not be seen as a declaration of mistrust towards your fiancé. It should be viewed as a practical step to ensure that, should the worst occur and the relationship breaks down, the issues in dispute will be minimised as thought would have already gone into how your respective financial positions are to be dealt with.
  • The other argument that is often raised against entering in a nuptial agreement is not it is not really romantic to suggest this to your fiancé. Whilst I understand this thinking, it needs to be understood that a nuptial agreement doesn’t pretend to be a bunch of flowers, a box of chocolates or an engagement ring. A nuptial agreement should be an unemotional, methodical way of assisting the parties to deal with the division of their respective sole and joint assets at a time when judgments may be affected as a result of the relationship breakdown.

Although it is a delicate issue to broach, it is better to consider the possibility that the relationship may break down and arrangements be put in place to deal with this situation than to ignore this issue completely.

If the relationship unfortunately does break down, both parties should not want to drag out the separation process between them for any longer than is necessary and both may be glad that they had the foresight to put a nuptial agreement in place to resolve the financial issues between them. However, if the marriage does not break down then the relationship between the parties will not be affected by having a nuptial agreement in place and both of them can concentrate on making as many romantic gestures to the other as they wish.

About the Author

Photograph of Catherine Morgan

Catherine is a Family Law solicitor and a Resolution accredited specialist, she advises clients in divorce/civil partnership proceedings, financial remedy negotiations and in private law Children Act matters, as well as Cohabitants' disputes and in drafting Deeds of Cohabitation and Pre-Nuptial/Post-Nuptial Agreements.

Catherine Morgan
Email Catherine
01865 258009

View profile