Prenuptial agreement are historically more enforceable in Scotland than the rest of the UK. So Scottish divorce lawyers are typically well versed in this area. And Beverley Johnson is no exception. Here’s a breakdown of what the agreements are and what alternatives are available.
However you feel about prenuptial agreements, they’re a very effective way of protecting your assets if you end up divorcing or separating. But if you’d rather not plan for such an event, there are other ways to keep yourself and your property safe.
Keep records of your pre-marriage life
Make sure you have solid records of your financial, property and business assets before you enter into a marriage or civil partnership. This will ensure you always have reliable evidence of your situation as a single person, should this ever be questioned.
Keep property separate
A lot of people own a property before getting married, which then becomes part of their estate. But it’s worth remembering that if you put someone else’s name on the deed, a court could assume you agreed to share the property with your partner. Or even worse, gave it to them. Our advice would be to keep your property separate and then worry about who gets what if you decide to sell.
Also, if you’re carrying out any work or maintenance on the property, try to pay for it with non-marital funds. And always keep records. Purely because if your partnership was to end and your partner had co-funded the work, they might be able to claim co-ownership.
Have separate finances
Joint bank accounts are virtually never equal. One person will inevitably put in more than the other and when it comes to separation this is always a big issue. Especially when the ingoings and outgoings are so mixed together it’s impossible to keep track of who’s in a better position.
The easy solution is to just carry on keeping your finds in separate accounts. It means agreeing with each other about who pays for what, but if you can do this it’s a lot easier than agreeing on a prenuptial agreement. And if you were to separate, it makes it far less likely the courts will interfere with your funds.
The benefits of a prenuptial agreement
If all of this sounds like a lot of hassle, a prenuptial agreement might be for you. While it can seem unromantic and even pessimistic, the agreement will only really become a reality if you separate. At which point you’ll probably be glad you have it. In short it’s a very straightforward way to specify how assets will be divided should your relationship end.
Find out more
Whether you’re thinking about having a prenuptial agreement, trying to avoid having one or would just like some more information on the subject, get in touch with us today. Beverley Johnson is one of Edinburgh’s foremost authorities on Scottish divorce law and would be happy to help you.