Is a pre-nuptial agreement an act of love? 


We have clients who come to us seeking advice on the process and substance of a pre-nup. Often they haven’t discussed this in any real detail save perhaps they have some pre-marital wealth they wish to ring-fence or a desire to keep extended family wealth excluded from the asset pool. They have concerns about how to approach the details of the document with their partner or how to move through the process. 

Pre-nups still have an air of suspicion or distaste about them. A fear perhaps that a divorce becomes inevitable once it is signed. Concerns that a partner may reject you because you suggest one or they consider it unromantic. 

It doesn’t have to be that way. We propose that a pre-nup, if handled correctly, with honesty and transparency, is an act of love; a demonstration of thoughtful consideration for the future. A time to plan for the marriage itself and not just the wedding day. 

Consider the following tips :- 

  1. Prepare a list of your current income, assets and liabilities.
  2. Consider your career plan and that of your spouse, how will your careers be supported, will there be any detriment to a spouse because of child care responsibilities? How will your expenses be managed?
  3. Consider your priorities for the future: what do you hope for your financial future and how can you implement it?
  4. Consider how you will approach any changes in circumstances during the marriage such as a relocation abroad, or passage of time, or medical event. 
  5. In the unfortunate event the marriage does come to an end, consider what a reasonable outcome might look like for you both and how it may cater for any big expenses such as accommodation expenses or children’s expenses.
  6. Consider specialist legal advice in the country that you live in but be prepared to seek advice in other relevant jurisdictions. 
  7. Consider specialist processes such as mediation or Collaborative Practice to discuss and settle the terms of a pre-nup in a holistic environment. 

With the right approach a pre-nup is a financial planning tool that allows open dialogue and understanding and certainty in the event of divorce. You and your intended spouse wish to spend the rest of your lives together. We encourage you to have these (sometimes) difficult conversations now. Relationships and marriages are based on having honest, open conversations with each other – however taboo the topic may feel. So, start early.  This, to us, is a real act of love.

For specific advice on your situation, please contact:

Joanne Brown
Partner | E-mail

Disclaimer: This publication is general in nature and is not intended to constitute legal advice. You should seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters dealt with in this publication.