An article by Janet Fife-Weomans in the Daily Telegraph suggests that up to one in ten couples is locking their wealth away from loved ones with a prenuptial agreement.
Prenuptial agreements have only been available in Australia for approximately ten years and while I agree with Ms Fife-Weomans reporting in the article that ‘there used to be a trickle of couples drawing up prenuptial agreements. That has become a steady stream.’
I do agree that prenuptial agreements are more often enquired about now than was formally the case, however I would disagree that as many as one in ten couples getting married would have a prenup.
Family lawyers generally dislike preparing such agreements because they are a minefield for a number of reasons:
Many lawyers who have a moral compass in relation to concepts of marriage lasting forever and they have reservations about preparing agreements which are seen as a fallback position in case the marriage doesn’t work out. I don’t know of anyone who went through Law School hoping to become qualified to prepare prenuptial agreements.
Having said all of that, I refer to my earlier blog in relation to prenuptial agreements which spoke about their utility as an estate planning tool in appropriate circumstances. Careful thought should be given as to whether or not it is appropriate when you are considering making the biggest decision of your life, getting married.