Joanne Major, Principal at Major Family Law, the Divorce and Family Law Specialists, responds to a weekly question and answer column in the Journal as follows:
About a year ago my partner asked me to marry her. I said yes and the wedding will take place in July. We are both 33 years old and I have just started my own business. Someone told me that I should have a pre-nuptial agreement to protect my business in case we split up. What should I do?
It is always worth considering entering into a pre-nuptial agreement before you marry; you have several months until the wedding so you have time to take advice. The legal status of these agreements is strengthening all the time. If the agreement is properly drafted, the court will give the terms serious consideration in the event of a marital breakdown.
As a first step you should sit down with a specialist family solicitor and give them more details about your finances and what you hope to achieve by entering into a pre-nuptial agreement. If, after taking advice, you want to go ahead you should approach your partner and discuss matters with her. She will need legal advice before signing an agreement; it isn’t usual to have it drawn up before she has agreed the general terms. Solicitors can help to negotiate the terms of the agreement if you have difficulty with the details.