12 September 2019

Read our marriage ‘Myth Busters’ and make sure you know your rights!

Lisa Boileau Partner & Head of Family

September is a time when thousands of couples across the land say: ‘I Do’. With the summer holidays over, this early autumn month is one of the most popular in the UK for marriage with 13 per cent of couples selecting one of its 30 days for their nuptials. If you and your partner are one such couple, then congratulations!

But what of the practicalities? While no-one wishes to dampen the celebrations – it is important that plans are in place as no-one knows what the future holds! So, before you begin your new life, take the time to look at our top facts regarding divorce and dissolution of civil partnerships.

1: Pre-nups are only for the rich.

Pre-nups, (pre-nuptial/pre-civil partnership agreements) are for anyone. Aside from seeking to protect wealth, they set out couples’ agreed division of assets if the union ends and with increasing numbers marrying for a second or third time, ‘pre-nups’ are increasingly popular.

2: I married before making a pre-nup, so there is nothing I can do now

Post-nup agreements are arrangements that couples can make at any stage after their ceremony. Like pre-nups, they are not always binding by law, however they are very helpful and when looking at the division of assets can carry a large amount of weight.

3. Divorce means a house sale, but at least everything else I have is safe!

This is a misconception, as all assets will be considered. For example, if you work, you will be contributing to a growing pension fund and that is something that parties often don’t realise will fall into the matrimonial pot to be distributed potentially upon a divorce/dissolution.

4. Let’s get a ‘quickie divorce’!

This term is a myth. Divorce/dissolution isn’t quick, it can take between six to twelve months and your circumstances will affect the timeframe. Plans to introduce ‘no fault’ proceedings are underway but have yet to be made law.

5. My partner and I have decided not to marry, after all our rights as a cohabiting couple are the same.

This is one of the most popular misconceptions as cohabiting couples do not have the same rights. It is necessary for unmarried couples to consider Cohabitation Agreements, which detail legal decisions about assets, including the division of any property upon separation. There are other things too that are important to look at, such as a Declaration of Trust for those who own property together, and the making of a current Will.

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