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Will you marry me: the legal implications of marriage

View profile for Karen Johnson
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Will you marry me: the legal implications of marriage

"Will you marry me?" is quite possibly one of the most anticipated questions that many people hope to hear in their lifetimes. It is a question that is loaded with love and hope for a future filled with happiness.

It is easy, and completely forgivable, to get lost in the dream; planning the big day, the venue, the dress, the guest lists (and remembering who fell out with whom so are probably not best sat together), the flowers, the honeymoon...the list is endless. However, marriage has important legal implications and there are some further questions that should also be considered;

  1. Do you have assets of your own that you would like to protect in the event of divorce or separation?
  2. Do you have children from a previous relationship or marriage? Would you want to provide for them from assets you would not wish to be lost in the event of divorce or separation?
  3. Have you received, or are you likely to receive, an inheritance that you would wish to protect in the event of divorce or separation?
  4. Do you have an interest in a family business, family farm or company which you would wish to protect if the marriage were to fail?

It goes without saying that nobody gets married expecting the marriage to fail, however, it is a sad reality that, sometimes, your dreams don't quite come out the way you want them to and 4 in 10 marriages don't succeed.

Hopefully, your marriage will be one of the lucky ones and you will grow old and grey together, with just the occasional argument over who gets to control the TV remote. However, if you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, then it would be a really good idea to get a prenuptial agreement.

Similar to an insurance policy, with luck, you will never need to use it. However, if the worst were to happen, a prenuptial agreement sets out what you both agree should happen in relation to financial matters in the event of divorce. Whilst not completely binding, they can be given significant weight by the court and make a real difference to the outcome.

Already married but saying ‘yes’ to the above questions? No problem. A post nuptial settlement is what you need.

For more information in relation to these issues, please contact our specialist Family & Divorce team for a free initial 15 minute conversation to see how we can help you.

I am based in our Colchester office and can be contacted on 01206 217305 or