It’s Valentine’s Day, you and your beloved are sitting by the fireplace gazing into each other’s eyes when he suddenly pops the question: “Will you… sign a pre-nuptial agreement with me?”
To help you think before you answer, here are three ways to protect your money when’re in love.
Simply put, a pre-nuptial agreement (prenup) is a written agreement between a couple, signed prior to marriage, which sets out how they intend their finances to be arranged during the marriage, and in the unfortunate event their marriage comes to an end.
Mixing money and love sounds problematic, but, as they say, money is the last thing that people talk about before marriage but the first thing they fight about when they break up.
Having a prenup, decreases the odds of separating in the first place. You and your partner can establish at the outset a framework for problem solving that will lay a foundation for a mature and prosperous marriage.
Here are some reasons in favour of entering into a prenup:
Remember that prenups are treated differently depending on the country you divorce in. In England, prenups are not binding, but they are likely to be upheld, provided they are entered into freely, with an understanding of the consequences, and in circumstances where it would not be unfair to hold the couple to the agreement at the time of divorce.
In Russia, on the other hand, prenups are contractually binding and the formalities of the process are minimal.
In today’s world, family finances are no longer the man’s sole domain. Modern women can expect to be equal financial partners. Looking after your money will help your relationship. Here are some simple, proactive, steps you can take:
Having said all the above, if you do become dependent on your partner after dedicating time to raising your children, what happens on divorce? Again, the answer depends on where you are getting divorced. In England, although ongoing income support is available, the court will be keen to ensure that financial ties are cut when circumstances allow. Payments will continue only for the period to allow the recipient to develop their financial independence, and wives are generally expected to take steps re-enter the workplace.
In Russia, maintenance is uncommon and very limited, generally restricted to a spouse who is either disabled, has reached pension age with no means of their own, pregnant or has care of a child under the age of three.
In other words, knowledge is power:
Adapted from Violetta Onishchenko’s presentation at the Global NextGen event on 12 February 2020. A Russian version of this article can be read here.