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Unequal assets

We are often approached by people who are about to get married and would like to protect their assets, if their marriage was ever to break down.

Our client, who was about to marry her fiancé, came to us for advice about a number of properties she owned. She explained that she was concerned that if her marriage was ever to fail, her future husband would have a right to a share of these properties. He had no equal contribution to make to their assets.

Neither she nor her fiancé had been married before and neither had any children (either together or from a previous relationship).

We advised her to enter into a pre-nuptial agreement with her fiancé, which would state that the properties that she brought into the marriage were to be treated as separate, should they ever divorce. She took our advice and she and her partner entered into a pre-nuptial agreement.

Due to the fact that our client and her fiancé were planning to have children, we advised her that the agreement should include planned reviews at periodic intervals (or at other agreed times) to take into account the changes that having children would bring to their circumstances. This would ensure that, if necessary, their pre-nuptial agreement would have the best possible chance of being enforced by a judge in the future, should it need to be.

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