A move befitting of wise men (and women)!
You’d be forgiven for thinking that anything I suggest that saves you money but means less fees for me is a bit like a turkey voting for Christmas.
Nevertheless, I’m a big advocate of things that are probably better for you than they are for me.
I’m a big fan of mediation – it’s cheaper than litigation which means more presents under your tree but less undermine.
I’m an advocate for paperwork like shareholders agreements and wills – you’re much less likely to end up in court with someone if all the Is are dotted and Ts crossed before things have a chance to get uglier than the ugly sisters.
And I’m very much in favour of pre-nuptial agreements, because if everything is clearly laid out before you tie the knot, you’re much less likely to end up in a messy (and expensive) divorce that could be worse than any pantomime farce you’ve ever seen.
You may think that a pre nup is only going to be of benefit to the wealthier of the two parties, but that’s not necessarily true.
Take the case of a spouse who has limited financial means, married to a wealthy party, who threatens a big expensive court case if the other side don’t take the offer on the table. The poorer party may know that the offer is low, and may know that they can borrow money to fight, but due to the high levels of interest on loans of this type, a large chunk of any increase they get will be eaten up in costs and fees, with no guarantee that they will be any better off at the end.
Or what about the emotional issues. A long drawn out divorce can be as damaging to your mental health as Christmas day spent with your in laws. Not to mention the effect it can have on those around you. A quick divorce (which is what should happen if you have a good prenup) can make it easier on your children, and easier for you to try and remain on reasonable terms with your ex. Whilst you may not see that as particularly important, your kids might.
And of course, you may be better off under a prenup than you would be through a divorce. Pre nups are drafted at a time when you are all on good terms. A client of mine was fond of saying that romantic boyfriends turn into nagging husbands. The romantic boyfriend is much more likely to be reasonable in his pre nup negotiations than the nagging husband in his divorce settlement discussions.
Of course, the cheapest way to avoid an expensive divorce is to not get married, but if you are thinking of popping the question over the holiday season, here’s my gift to you. Drop me a line in the new year to talk about your plans and what I can do to help you keep the costs down.
Kleyman & Co Solicitors. The full services law firm. Helping you avoid getting stuffed.