top of page
Marriage Proposal

National Marriage week 
7-14 February 2024

National Marriage Week was launched in 2010, as part of an international event aiming to bring together individuals, organizations, and businesses for strengthening marriage in communities and influencing the culture. This week also plays host to World Marriage Day, which is celebrated every second Sunday of February.

As we come up to national marriage week think about the preparations people make for entering a marriage.  People usually:

  • Plan the wedding

  • Discuss the future

  • Discuss the possibility of having children

  • Set up joint bank accounts and discuss how you will manage joint finances

  • Discuss religion

  • Get to know your in-laws

  • Buy a house together

  • Live together to get to know each other’s habits

  • Enter into a prenuptial agreement

 

Actually, most people do not do the last point on that list but here is why they should.

 

Prenuptial agreements have been valid and prevalent in Scotland for hundreds of years.  Marriage Contracts were commonly used here from about the 14th century onwards. The oldest preserved Marriage Contract in Scotland is from 1281.

 

A prenuptial agreement is essentially an insurance policy.  It’s like your house insurance you pay for it, it gives you piece of mind but you hope you never have to actually use it.  Prenuptial agreements are used to:

  • Provide clarity to the parties financial situation prior to marriage

  • Ringfence assets you own before marriage

  • Ringfence debts you have before marriage

  • Protect any funds provided by third parties such as your parents or other family members

  • Ringfence future income derived from pre-marriage assets

  • Reduce stress, conflict and costs if parties divorce

  • Protect a business interest

 

If you were going to enter into a business partnership with someone you would expect there to be a contract which sets out the financial expectations of each party.  A pre-nuptial agreement is no different.  You are entering into a marriage with someone you should trust and respect.  Accordingly, having a prenuptial agreement in place which is fair and reasonable and has been considered by both parties to truly represent their financial position and expectations from the marriage is a sign of mutual trust and respect.

When couples divorce many pre-marriage assets will be excluded from the calculation of the matrimonial pot of assets but usually this will involve proving that the assets were owned pre-marriage and will require a paper trail.  If any of those assets have changed form i.e. pre-marriage funds in a savings account which have been used to buy a matrimonial asset such as a car or plot of land then those assets are not excluded from the matrimonial pot.

If you are planning to get married, you should seriously consider if you would benefit from a prenuptial agreement.  You should take advice on whether it would be the right course of action for you and your partner.

As always, the purpose of this blog is to provide an overview of the law in Scotland and should not be relied upon as legal advice.  You should always obtain specialist legal advice about your own circumstances. 

 

Call 0131 5818 652 or email info@macbeathlaw.co.uk to arrange an appointment.  More information can be found on our website www.macbeathfamilylaw.co.uk

bottom of page