Once the preserve of celebrities and the super-rich, the pre-nuptial agreement is becoming a common feature of international marriages. “If you’re marrying someone from a different country, you’d be very unwise not to consider a pre-nup,” says Bruce, who advises on a range of these agreements, from the high-profile to the ordinary. Why? Because the division of assets in a divorce varies according to jurisdiction.
International marriages made up around 25% of Luxembourg marriages in the last-available statistics from 2012, according to Statec, opening couples up to the risk of having their divorce ruled upon in a country with very different laws. This is particularly important if there is any British connection, including a period spent living there. “England doesn’t have the same regimes for the division of property as some European countries do, so if you’re marrying a Brit or there’s any risk of spending time living there, think carefully about a pre-nup.”
According to Bruce, a pre-nup governs not just finances, but what jurisdiction the divorce takes place in, how it is arbitrated and how custody of children is determined. “It removes the spectre of any of these worries from a marriage.”
Already married? A mid-nuptial is also possible. However, you must be very careful about the lawyers you choose as the wrong legal pairing, like the wrong romantic pairing, can be catastrophic. “A mid-nup must be done by very responsible lawyers who aren’t going to tear the marriage apart.”
This article was published for the Paperjam + Delano Finance newsletter, the weekly source for financial news in Luxembourg. Subscribe using this link.