What will happen if you separate?
No one likes to think about what will happen if they separate from their spouse, but it is important to consider and discuss these issues. Everyone should know what might happen if you separate, and should consider signing an agreement that says what you want to happen.
Many people think that signing such an agreement (commonly referred to as a “pre-nup”) is a negative thing. They think asking their partner for one is saying “I do not think we will be together forever” which is the last thing anyone wants their partner to think.
Pre-nups are not a bad thing.
I encourage you to think about it another way: this is your chance to negotiate your separation while you have each other’s best interests in mind, rather than when you may be hurting and may be looking out only for yourself. It means you want to ensure the terms of your separation, if one occurs, reflect your affection for each other, rather than any potential anger. It also means that, if you have children, you will be able to focus on them and their best interests if you separate, as you have already agreed on many of the other issues.
A domestic contract also provides certainty: the terms of your separation will be a known quantity. It can be less expensive than going to court in the future. This allows you to plan for your future, and helps protect you and your partner from potential financial risk. A domestic contract is an integral part of any financial plan.
Contact a family lawyer before signing a pre-nup.
A family lawyer can assist you with understanding your rights and obligations, and help you prepare an agreement that states what you want to happen if you separate. Talking to a family lawyer is an integral part of preparing and signing such an agreement. A family lawyer plays an important role in the process, including ensuring you follow the laws about what you are allowed to put in such an agreement.
If you would like to discuss whether a prenup is right for you – perhaps you want to protect your pension when you separate, or have concerns about paying spousal support – please contact me today.
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