Many couples will spend months planning their wedding, but often one of the most important aspects of planning a future together is left until later to finalise.
An antenuptial contract is often something that couples do not want to talk about, sometimes even believing they’re setting themselves up to fail – but this is not the case. Drawing up a contract before getting married can be seen as a sign of mutual care for each other’s financial and legal independence, and responsibilities.
Signing an antenuptial contract gives each partner in marriage financial and legal independence. It gives you the power to deal with your own financial decisions and property transactions, without putting your partner at risk.
In any person’s life there will be financial ups and downs and an antenuptial contract will protect your partner against insolvency, as each estate remains separate. In the unfortunate event of an insolvency, whatever a spouse has gained cannot be touched to recoup the debt of the other.
Many don’t see a marriage as a business partnership, but it should be seen as such and broached in the same manner. In the time you’re married, you will have accumulated certain wealth, whether in property or other investments, and these should in fairness be divided according to what each partner has accrued in the time they were married, in the event death or divorce.
Another aspect of financial protection through an antenuptial contract is that on the death of a spouse, the surviving partner’s estate continues as normal and he or she will be able to continue as normal while waiting for the other’s estate to be wound up. In the case of community of property, the whole estate is frozen in that time and the surviving partner can find themselves in a dire financial situation.
Your family lawyer will be able to assist in drafting the right antenuptial contract for you: and it should be seen as something that must be done before the knot is tied, and not later in life, as this is part of the beginning of your future together.