Saturday 3 December 2016

Avoiding pre-nup potholes

Published 25/01/2012 | 06:00

There are certain clauses in a pre-nup that couples should pay particular attention to.

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The first of these is the review clause. Some people treat their pre-nup as a "once-off", signed before the wedding and left in a bottom drawer, only to be retrieved in the event of breakdown.

However, couples should be encouraged to insert a review clause, stipulating that the agreement should be reviewed at regular intervals, possibly every five years. This will ensure the agreement is kept up to date.

The issue of maintenance payments is another clause that may raise some concerns. Many pre-nup templates attempt to state that neither party will claim maintenance in the event of a break-up, a clause that needs serious consideration. At the time of signing a pre-nup both the farmer and his/her spouse may be in full-time employment, one on the farm and one outside the farm.

However, the arrival of children often changes this arrangement, typically resulting in the wife deciding to only work part-time or cease employment altogether.

If the marriage later broke down and the wife has waived her right to maintenance, she could find herself without any income.

In order to avoid such a scenario, the pre-nup should include agreement on maintenance payments or at least not waive your entitlement to claim maintenance in the event of a break-up, if maintenance arrangements cannot be agreed on at the pre-nup stage.

Deirdre Blackwell BBLS, Blackwell O'Reilly Solicitors, Fernfield, Ballypatrick, Co Tipperary

Irish Independent

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