Debate: Should everyone get a pre-nuptial agreement?


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The Independent Online

Myleene Klass has said she regrets not getting a pre-nup now she and her ex have divorced. As pre-nuptial agreements become increasingly common in the UK, should we all put practicalities above romance and protect ourselves with a pre-nup?

Why risk losing half of everything you've worked for?

Pre-nuptial agreements aren’t sexy, or romantic. You don’t dream of one day getting down on one knee and suggesting you both sign one, or hiding the paperwork in the dessert cart after a decadent meal. You won’t celebrate signing it with all your friends and family. It’s true that pre-nups are distinctly un-sexy but it's also true that 42 per cent of marriages will end in divorce. Myleene Klass, a self-confessed "strident feminist", didn't get her husband to sign one before they got hitched, despite the disparity between their incomes (she has an estimated £12m fortune and he’s a celebrity bodyguard).

She said on ITV's Loose Women: "If I had one regret, it would be not getting a pre-nup." Quite right, Myleene. Despite being in a long-term relationship for 11 years, she was only married for six months before the marriage deteriorated. Pre-nups have been recognised in UK law since 2010 and most of us are still getting our heads round them, but to put it simply, if Klass had got one, she wouldn't have to face giving away £6m to Graham Quinn. She wouldn't have to give him anything. That’s a lot of dosh for the sake of a few moments of squeamishness over a bit of paper.

If you have to ask for a pre-nup you shouldn't be getting hitched

Ever been asked if you would sign a pre-nup? I have. It’s not a nice question to be asked. It’s unsettling, and more than that, it shows an essential mistrust. Your partner doesn't believe you’ll be fair or faithful. In fact, they've already fast-forwarded to imagining the breakdown of your marriage before it’s even begun.

The marriage vow isn't 'for better or for worse, except in matters pertaining to individual wealth in which case each person shall remain as poor or as rich as they were before they were married’; the whole point is you’re agreeing to mingle not only your body and soul, but your bank accounts too. A pre-nup is basically the antithesis of what a marriage is meant to be about. If you have to ask your partner to sign a pre-nup, you should ask yourself first, are you ready to say 'I do'?

Emily Jupp @emilyjupp

Which do you agree with? Leave your comments below.