With a high percentage of marriages ending in divorce, Williams Thompson Solicitors LLP are advising couples to plan ahead to protect their finances.
Currently, an estimated 42% of UK marriages end in divorce, with around half of these expected to occur in the first 10 years. Despite this, only 2% of couples obtain a prenuptial agreement, potentially leaving their finances unprotected. Specialing in Family Law, Williams Thompson Solicitors LLP are seeking to end the stigma associated with prenuptial agreements.
A Pre-Nuptial Agreement is a legal document that both parties sign before they get married. Its purpose is to record the way in which they will operate their financial lives within the relationship and how matters should be dealt with if the marriage breaks down. This helps to reduce conflict in the event of divorce, making the process quicker and less stressful.
Emma Hamilton Cole, Head of Family Law at Williams Thompson, said:
“The majority of couples view prenuptial arrangements as unromantic or even an assurance that their marriage will end. However, prenups can rather strengthen marriages because they provide a reassuring sense of certainty about what will happen in the event things don’t work out as hoped.’’
Pre nuptial agreements are often produced when one partner has significantly more assets than the other and both parties feel it fair that this should be recognised in the event of the marriage breaking down. They are also often used where there are children from a previous marriage or relationship, to maintain separation of assets between families and allow inheritance planning.
Emma Hamilton Cole,continues:
“There is no standard “off the shelf”pre nuptial agreement as no two situations are the same. Your solicitor will draft a document with your individual circumstances in mind. At Williams Thompson, we are happy to see you to discuss a pre nuptial agreement, and your options generally. I recommend doing this at least several months before the marriage to ease any pressures or concerns.The fact of the matter is that these agreements whilst not absolutely binding on the courts, they are regarded as much more persuasive if they have been prepared properly, with legal advice and signed at least a few months before the wedding itself.’’
Couples who are not intending to marry can also benefit from having agreements drawn up – cohabitation agreements are an increasingly common way to regulate financial arrangements in the event of a relationship breakdown for those who are unmarried.
Williams Thompson is a respected and long-established law firm with offices on Bridge Street in Christchurch. Combining traditional values with a friendly, modern approach and high standards of professional practice they attract clients from across the country. Their reputation in family law has drawn clients from across the Bournemouth conurbation, the New Forest, and London.
To find out more or to contact Williams Thompson Solicitors visit: www.williamsthompson.co.uk.