Post Nuptial Agreement

Caragh Bailey
28/04/2021
17
2 min read
Post Nuptial Agreement from Parachute Law; an older couple sign an agreement together

Post nuptial agreements are a contract between a married couple or civil partnership, whereby you agree your property rights over any assets you both may hold, in the event of death or divorce. While similar to a Pre nuptial agreement they can be drawn up at any time after marriage.

A post nuptial agreement can be useful in a number of situations:
  • To bequeath assets to beneficiaries other than your spouse
  • If you brought unequal capital into the marriage and would like to make sure that this is reflected in the event of divorce
  • If one party focuses on childcare or homemaking while the other furthers their career, to compensate the stay at home partner
  • To deter further infidelity in a troubled marriage

Can a postnuptial agreement save a marriage?

In some cases, couples use post nuptial agreements to rescue their relationships from divorce.

The couple sign a postnup to give one party greater property rights in the event of divorce. The unfaithful partner stands to lose a lot of money if they further jeopardise the marriage.

What can be included in a postnuptial agreement?

  • How the couple will divide assets such as property in the event of divorce
  • Whether one spouse will pay spousal support (and how long for)
  • How marital debts will be divided
  • How assets will pass if either spouse dies

Is a postnuptial agreement legally binding?

Nuptial agreements are not legally binding in the UK. Family courts use this precedent from a supreme court case to decide whether to enforce the agreement.

“The court should give effect to a nuptial agreement that is freely entered into by each party with a full appreciation of its implications unless in the circumstances prevailing it would not be fair to hold the parties to their agreement.”

This means:
  • You and your spouse must receive separate independent legal advice
  • It must be fair (The terms should give you both somewhere to live and money to live on)
  • Full financial disclosure is crucial
  • There must have been enough time for both parties to give due care and consideration to the agreement.
  • Ideally, sign the document 28+ days in advance of the marriage or civil partnership
  • The court's main responsibility is to divide property fairly. They can and will overrule the agreement to do so, especially in the interests of any children affected.

Frequently Asked Questions
No. If you can show a family court judge that you were forced to sign under duress they cannot enforce the agreement.
Because you are already married, there may be some speculation about whether the post nup was signed under coercion. Avoid making the agreement conditional upon an event, such as a renewal of vows.

You may wish to look at getting a Prenuptial agreement before you get married

 
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