Pre-nuptial Agreements

As a result of a case brought to the Supreme Court in 2008 the law in relation to pre-nuptial agreements was clarified. The law must give weight to such agreements which are entered into voluntarily. At one time pre-nuptial agreements were seen as the province of the rich, but with second and subsequent marriages being commonplace, pre-nuptial agreements can clarify contributions brought into the relationship, pre-existing property and financial security for any children may be considered. Without the facilitation skills of a trained mediator it may be hard to speak about subjects which may create tension between a couple. When an agreement is negotiated it can then be given effect by an independent lawyer.
John and Karen had both been married before. They each had two children. Although Karen had capital in her home John had earning ability which made it possible for them to move into a new home and obtain a sizeable mortgage. John’s children had left home and both had good jobs and were financially independent. Karen had a child with a lifelong disability which meant she was unlikely to be able to find employment and may not be able to live independently. Both Karen and John would be likely to inherit their own parents property at some time in the not so distant future but John’s inheritance was likely to be four times the size of Karens.

This gives an example of how many issues may be at stake in a second marriage.