x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Pre-nups take money matters out of marriages

Dubai-based couple Amy Smith and James Wilson are arranging a prenuptial agreement before they marry in New York next spring.

Ms Smith, 36, a doctor from the United States who has lived in the UAE for four years, met her fiancé, James Wilson, 38, a carpenter from the United Kingdom who moved here in 2011.

The couple believe a pre-nup will make their marriage more secure.

"It seems like the right thing to do," says Ms Smith. "I don't believe it will have any negative impact on our relationship. If anything it will make it stronger as we won't have to worry about problems in the future."

They plan to have the legal document drawn up in America. However, they will also be taking advice from a UK lawyer, hoping to secure an agreement that will stand up in both nations.

Ms Smith says she is the one pushing for the agreement - the main reason being her parents, who are against her marrying Mr Wilson.

"They've requested we do this to protect any inheritance I might be entitled to from them," she explains. "Also, I own a couple of properties in America and my father is keen that I protect them.

"He has major issues about the social and educational divide between myself and my fiancé. He claims that Dubai is a 'microcosm' and in the real world I would never consider marrying him."

She adds that her fiancé also has a pending lawsuit from an accident in the UK that may lead to compensation worth millions. If this is the case, she would be entitled to half the money. However she wants to reassure him that she is not marrying him for his wealth.

"I don't want him to think that this is the reason I'm marrying him," adds Ms Smith. "The pre-nup will protect him in the case that he is well compensated. We're simply doing it because it suits our particular situation."