Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis confirmed their split earlier this week and it’s now being reported that Vanessa is about to receive a £100 million pay off, the biggest of any unmarried couple, to keep the split as amicable as possible for their children’s sake.
With pre-nups already being taken into account in UK courtrooms, and being considered to become legally binding in the near future, should and would you get one?
Zahra Pabani, partner in the family law team at SGH Martineau, says that you shouldn’t let love blind you went entering a Relationship and that pre-nups should be devised early on.
She says, “Falling in love is a wonderful thing. It makes us giddy, girlie and obsessed with the smallest details – what he did, what he said, how he acted. Yet, while many of us will notice every minute thing about our new love, this infatuation may well over-ride the more practical side of the Relationship.
“It’s not nice having to think about money during the heady, early days when everything seems rosy and you can’t imagine anything going wrong. But the reality is that you may have considerable assets.
“This doesn’t sound particularly romantic, but if your new man really is in it for love, then surely he won’t mind you putting in place precautionary measures to ensure he can’t take your money and run?”
Of course, it makes sense to take precautions, but doesn’t making someone signing a pre-nup put limitations on the relationship?
By saying to someone ‘I need you to sign this in case we get divorced’ sort of say that there’s a chance you might? Willing it to happen, if you will.
Maybe I’m more of a throwback to ancient times but whatever happened to death do us part? I know that two thirds of Marriage end in divorce but is it if you aren’t prepared to share your life with someone, which includes your assets, then don’t get married.
Although, with marriages becoming less successful and people being unwilling to enter them, you can now strike up an agreement if you’re not married.
“You may still want to protect your existing and future income, or clarify existing agreements, which can be done in the form of a cohabitation agreement” says Zahra.
““This can be good both in terms of what happens if you live together and then split up, and also for couples who defy the skeptics and stay together. It can help clarify pensions so it will go to your partner if you wish, or to your children.
“You can also opt for a living together agreement, which covers ownership. This can be relatively straightforward in that if you alone paid for an item, it belongs to you; if you bought it together, you have joint ownership and if you part bought it, then it belongs to you both in proportionate amounts according to the contribution you made. This can make a real difference if we’re talking about large purchases such as homes, cars and so on.” She added.
The financial benefits and negatives are also something that need to be taken into account when deciding on pre-nups.
James Riby, Partner in the family team at Charles Russell says, “Costs worries may become all the more important, with there being a presumption now that each party should pay their own legal costs when sorting out the financial consequences of divorce and with Legal Aid reductions meaning that publicly funded assistance with divorce-related legal costs may soon become non-existent.”
Jonathan West, head of family law at Prolegal, says that although pre-nups are usually used by the wealthy, they are now being used for the poorer spouse in order for them to get a “fair share of their marital pot.”
So it seems that pre-nups are becoming a growing trend for the married, soon to be, or even for those never planning on it. It begs the question, is a safeguard for your future or destroying the sanctity of marriage?