Relationships and marriages do not just ‘happen’ – they need building upon and maintaining to keep them fresh and functioning to get the very best! When you get married you don’t expect any difficulties, but statistics dictate that these expectations may be unrealistic. When stresses or strains enter couples’ lives, and all couples will endure this within marriage, marriage preparation courses will have given you tools to draw upon and use to build forward rather than experience conflict. The fundamentals of building a great life together are easy to learn and apply; your church should be able to recommend a suitable course if they don’t run their own.
Marriage seminars are very similar in content to the marriage courses held throughout Britain. They aim to equip couples before they get married with tools to deal with conflict within the marriage if or when conflict arises. They usually also run courses for couples whose relationships are already in difficulty, or are not what they had hoped for. Unlike organisations such as Relate, they do not usually offer counselling; instead you will be part of a group, learning together but with privacy being an absolute priority. These courses are often run by independent Charitable Trusts based in the UK, so any charges to attend courses are minimal, and many courses are free.
Pre-nuptial agreements originated from the USA and are fast becoming a trend for successful independent business people. Making a pre-nuptial agreement may not seem very romantic, but it can be extremely sensible. Both parties should seek the assistance of independent solicitors who are experienced in both family and divorce cases, such as Marshall & Galpin . To halt any unnecessary pressure, this tricky subject should be discussed and sorted as soon as possible, so that it can then be filed away by the happy couple, hopefully forever.
It is a written contract entered into by two parties who intend to marry with the intention of setting out their respective financial intentions and obligations in the event of a subsequent divorce. A Pre-nuptial Agreement will include:
- A full and frank disclosure of financial assets, income and any future expectations of such must be given to ensure each party can make an informed decision based on the facts.
- Each party must receive independent legal advice about the contents to ensure fairness.
- It must be entered into freely and without pressure and preferably at least 21 days before the wedding is to take place.
- There may need to be provision for a review on the occurrence of certain events, eg on the birth of a child or in the event of one party contracting a chronic illness. The agreement takes the form of a written document which is signed and dated by both parties in the presence of independent witnesses.
You will need to show documentary evidence of your name, age and nationality – ideally in the form of your passport. If you are under the age of 18, you will be required to bring a completed parental consent form. You will also be asked to provide evidence of your address. If you have recently changed your name, you may be required to bring your original Birth Certificate and the Statutory Declaration of Name Change Certificate.
If you are getting married in church, you will be asked for all documents relating to your Banns. If you have been married or registered a civil partnership before, you will also need to produce documents that confirm that you are now free to marry. These could be a divorce decree absolute or final order of civil partnership dissolution bearing the court’s original stamp OR the death certificate of your former husband, wife or civil partner.
If you have been married more than once before, only the paperwork relating to the most recent marriage is required. If you are subject to immigration control, you will also need to produce documentary evidence to confirm that you satisfy the eligibility requirements and show that you have written permission by the Secretary of State to marry within the UK.