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Saying “I Do” To A Pre-nup

Jackie McRaeAs the wedding season waltzes into full swing in a cloud of tulle and confetti it may seem downright unromantic to mar the preparations with legal considerations.

But a little practical thinking in advance can spare a whole lot of heartache and headaches later if the fairytale doesn’t end happily.

These days, saying “I Do” to a pre-nuptial agreement isn’t only the prerogative of the rich and famous. More and more couples are taking a common-sense view and planning for the future – just in case the unthinkable does happen.

Leading legal company Pagan Osborne says couples should view a pre-nup as an insurance policy, which will ultimately look after both parties in the event that they split up.  This means that decisions about what happens after the relationship ends are made in a loving, rather than contentious, frame of mind.

 “People take out insurance against all sorts of things – wedding mishaps included – and, though you hope you’ll never have to use it, it is a comforting safeguard should anything go wrong,” says Jackie McRae, head of Pagan Osborne’s Family Law team.

“Any couple committing to living their lives together should consider the legal and financial implications of their union - not just to protect themselves as individuals but to look after each other throughout their relationship and beyond.”

While some may see a pre-nup as a mechanism to protect one party’s interests at the expense of the other’s, Jackie argues that thinking in advance about what each person considers tobe a fair outcome if things were to go wrong between them, is actually a very caring act.

“When a relationship ends it is a difficult and stressful period which can involve many strong emotions. This can make it difficult to see clearly and make effective decisions about the future. 

“But if a couple has already worked out, in a loving atmosphere, what they would like to happen if their partnership fails, then that shows a real commitment to each other. It may also make arguments further down the line less likely.”

The key is to formalise these wishes in a binding agreement. This could set out how assets should be treated if one partner enters the relationship with much more than the other, or, if there are different levels of contribution to the purchase of a shared property, how the funds from a sale of that property would be shared.

“It’s really a question of considering what options are available and suit each couple’s requirements best – and then taking legal advice to ensure the paperwork fully meets those individual requirements.  Far from being unromantic, it gives you both security and peace of mind, ensuring you both enter into your new life together on a clear footing.”

For more information on pre-nuptial agreements, contact Jackie McRae on 0131 226 4081 or email


Not sure where to start? Why not just give us a call today on
0131 624 6820 for Edinburgh or 01334 475001 for Fife to discuss your needs.

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Want to work with a local, friendly company? Then find your nearest Pagan Osborne office to you below. However, we also work with clients throughout the UK so you can call any of our numbers and our helpful reception staff will be happy to forward on your call to the most appropriate expert to suit your needs.

Clarendon House
116 George Street
EH2 4LH Call Us
Tel: 0131 624 6820
Fax: 0131 220 1612
2 Comiston Road
EH10 5QE Call Us
Tel: 0131 539 3333
Fax: 0131 538 7204
St Andrews
106 South Street
St Andrews
KY16 9QD Call Us
Tel: 01334 475001
Fax: 01334 476322
12 St Catherine Street
KY15 4HH Call Us
Tel: 01334 653777
Fax: 01334 655063
1 Crossgate
KY15 5HA Call Us
Tel: 01334 656525
Fax: 01334 654119
Pagan Osborne
5a Shore Street
KY10 3EA Call Us
Tel: 01333 310703
Fax: 01333 311918


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