Marriage

Marriage is a happy occasion, and we know that the involvement of lawyers in the wedding preparation can be considered unromantic.

However, it is sensible for advice to be taken before marriage, to ensure that children and assets are protected in the event of separation or death.

We can help with:

  • Protecting your assets on marriage
  • Protecting your assets in the event of your death
  • Rights and obligations in relation to children upon marriage

Frequently Asked Questions

A sworn translation is a certified official translation of any document. The sworn official translation holds the same validity held by the original document in the country in which it was issued.

Sworn Translators appointed by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation are the only translators who can produce official translations which will be recognised and accepted by any country.

The bride and groom must always check either with the Spanish Consulate in London or the relevant Registry Office in Spain the documents to be submitted. In general, if the bride and/or groom are British the following documents must be submitted:

• Official translation into Spanish of the birth certificate in English,
• Official translation into Spanish of the certificate of non-impediment to marriage in English,
• Official translation into Spanish or the decree absolute in English if the bride and/or groom were previously married and have divorced in the UK.
• Official translation of the letter issued by relevant Council in the UK to confirm the address in the UK or
• Official translation of the statutory declaration before a UK Notary Public to confirm the address in the UK.

The documents in English need to be apostilled (legalised) by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
A sworn translation is a certified official translation of any document. The sworn official translation holds the same validity held by the original document in the country in which it was issued.

Sworn Translators appointed by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation are the only translators who can produce official translations which will be recognised and accepted by any country.

The official translation into English of the Spanish marriage certificate needs to be submitted to the relevant authorities in the UK if the wife wants to take her husband’s surname and therefore needs to apply for a new passport, bank cards and any other documents.
Yes, the law requires that natural parents should re-register the birth of a child if they marry after the date that the child was born. This is even the case if the natural father is already named on the child’s birth certificate.

No amendment needs to be made to the child’s birth certificate if the child’s natural parents divorce.

The application is straightforward, and the application form is available on www.gov.uk
The most frequent questions that we are asked about pre nups are: do I need a pre nup and will it be binding?

Do you need a pre nup?

Without a pre nup, the court has a very wide discretion when deciding a financial settlement on divorce, and takes into account a number of factors. We won’t go through all of those factors in this article, but it is important to understand that there is no set formula for deciding a financial outcome, and therefore, the decision made by one judge can be quite different to how another judge would determine a matter. We can advise you on the fair parameters for a settlement and likely outcome range, but there is always an element of uncertainty.

In addition, the legal costs in resolving a financial settlement can be significant, particularly if it cannot be negotiated and court input is necessary.

There is never a quick resolution when the court process is used. Typically, the court process can take 12 – 18 months from start to finish, sometimes longer. Those delays seem to be increasing.

In short, the court process is uncertain, expensive, and lengthy. It is best to avoid it where possible. While parties can try to resile from the terms of a pre nup on divorce such that court proceedings are required, the court will likely uphold the terms of the agreement provided certain criteria are met, which we set out below.

Pre nups are typically suitable:

1. For those who wish to enter into a second marriage and wish to protect their asset base for their own children;
2. Where there is an imbalance of wealth between the parties of the marriage, and commonly, where that wealth is inherited.

If you fall into either of these categories, or if you cannot decide if a pre nup would be beneficial to you, give us a call and we can help you to decide if a pre nup is right for you.

Are pre nups binding?

A pre nup will be upheld by the court if it is fair for it to do so.

While the court endeavours to protect couples’ autonomy in agreeing terms of an agreement (even where they are very different from what the court would have ordered without a pre nup in place) a pre nup will only be upheld if it is fair to do so. In order to be fair, a pre nup:

• Should not prejudice the reasonable needs of any children of the family.
• Should meet both parties’ reasonable needs. However, needs can be far more limited under a pre nup than a court might otherwise determine.
• Should have been entered into by each party under their own free will, without undue influence, fraud or duress.
• Should be understood by each party so they are aware of the terms and implications of the agreement. This does not mean that it is essential for each party to have legal advice, but it is more likely to be upheld if both parties have been advised.

However, a party may find it very difficult to argue that they should not be held to the terms of a pre nup because they declined to take legal advice. It may be appropriate for the person that is being protected by the pre nup to meet all or some of the less well-off party’s legal costs (see article on pre nup costs).

• Both parties should fully disclose their financial position. This will enable both parties to determine if they are happy with the terms of the agreement i.e without knowing what assets the other person has, they cannot know if they have a fair deal.
• The agreement should be entered into at least 21 days before the marriage.

Provided these criteria are met, the pre nup is likely to be binding. The existence of a pre nup helps both parties to the marriage know what their position is, and will help to avoid uncertainty, legal costs and stress in the event of divorce.
We would always recommend that you have a Will in place. Many people are not aware that marriage automatically cancels any existing Will and so if you have a Will in place when you get married, even if you want the provisions to remain exactly the same, you will need to prepare a new Will.

Many people assume that their spouse would automatically inherit their estate on their death and this is not necessarily the case. Having a Will in place allows you to provide for those you wish to inherit and, if you wish, can provide financial protection should your spouse subsequently remarry after your death for your children.

You may also wish to provide for other beneficiaries such as children from an earlier relationship and we can review all of this as part of preparing your Will.

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For more information and to find out how we can help you, please contact us on 0345 646 0406 or fill in our online enquiry form and a member of our Team will be in touch.

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