The announcement that Jennifer Lopez has become engaged to former US baseball player Alex Rodriguez has caught the public’s imagination. The couple, widely referred to as ‘J-Lo and A-Rod’ have been dating for two years.
Their combined wealth is staggering: Jennifer Lopez is estimated to be worth an incomprehensible 400 million dollars, and her fianc√©, Alex, isn’t worth much less, at 350 million dollars. Because of this, the couple will no doubt be seriously considering entering into a pre-nuptial (pre-nup) agreement. Lopez has been married three times previously, and Rodriguez once. So, although everything bodes well for them for the future, they will be aware of the importance of protecting their assets in the unlikely event that things go wrong.
However, things are a little different for Lopez and Rodrigues as, in New York, pre-nups are binding, whereas in England and Wales they’re not. So is it worth considering a pre-nup if you are marrying in England in Wales? In short, yes.
The benefit of a pre-nup is, should the marriage end in divorce, you can aim to limit any claim to what your ex-partner ‘needs’ as opposed to having to share all your wealth with them. Don’t be fooled though, as ‘needs’ are generally way over and above what you or I may need to get through the month and usually include housing.
To have the best chance of being taken in to account by an English court a pre-nup needs to tick the following boxes:
- Must be freely entered in to
- Full financial disclosure of both parties
- Both parties must take independent legal advice
- Must be fair and provide for any children
- Must be signed at least 28 days before the wedding
It may not be romantic, but it is eminently sensible. If any of the following applies to you, you should seriously consider entering into a pre-nuptial agreement with your future spouse.
- You’ve created or inherited wealth and you’d like to protect it
- You’ve been married before
- You have children you’d like to leave your money to
If you’re getting married and want advice on a pre-nup you can speak to one of our expert family lawyers.