At the weekend, I went to celebrate the wedding of a young couple setting out on married life for the first time and I was there as a guest through my wife, so did had met very few of the people before. My ice-breaker was my confession that I was a divorce lawyer and one couple, contemplating re-marriage asked me about Pre-Nuptial Settlements. Now that the inclination of the courts is to accept such settlements as binding if they are fair and meet certain other criteria, we see an increasing number of people asking about them – both Pre-Nuptial Settlements for people contemplating marriage and Post-Nuptial Settlements for married couples who want some certainty about what should happen if they were to split. Indeed, I took instructions only last week for a Post-Nuptial Settlement for a couple trying a reconciliation, but wanting some certainty should it be unsuccessful. I am hoping that for them it will be an easier discussion in an atmosphere of hope, than one taking place amid the emotional devastation of irretrievable breakdown. One of the helpful aspects of settlements is that it can lessen the hostility of adult children to their parents’ spouses: often children are defensive of their parents and want to protect them against exploitation as well as protect their inheritances. I was consulted for that reason a couple of years ago and the re-marrying older couple eventually decided to make their wishes known by letting the children see their Wills, but in my professional opinion a Pre-Nuptial Settlement would have been better, even if more expensive.
My wife cut her thumb so badly she needed hospital treatment last week and on returning to work with bandaged hand, the teenager she was helping had the first reaction of ‘How are you going to text?’ rather than worrying about the pain. Anyhow, one pleasing aspect of the reception was that people were only using their mobile phones to take pictures and even that mainly of the couple’s first dance, cutting the cake and suchlike. For a crowd of tech-savvy people, many younger than myself, it was a refreshing change that people were engaging with each other.
We do Settlements for conflict reduction or avoidance and wish the couple well. If it goes well, John and Sam will have their silver wedding when we have golden.
Any photographs purporting to show me Gangnam Style might be faked…