Do prenuptial agreements after marriage exist? Post-nuptials
This is becoming an increasingly common question in the UK. Often when couples have left it too late to receive a prenuptial agreement before getting married or their circumstances have changed since tieing the knot and wish to have some sort of legal agreement to protect themselves.
Luckily there is an agreement that married couples are able to enter after they have married, called a post-nuptial agreement.
What is a post-nuptial agreement?
A postnuptial agreement is very similar to a pre-nuptial agreement, it is a written agreement carried out after a couple gets married, or have entered a civil union, to show how the couple’s affairs and assets will be split in the event of a separation or divorce.
Why do you need a post-nuptial agreement?
Post-Nuptial agreements help couples understand how assets and finances would be divided if they were to separate or divorce. This is extremely beneficial to all couples but especially to those who have been married before or have children from a previous relationship.
Many hate the idea of a prenup or postnuptial agreement however, its a very practical document that can save a lot of time, stress and money if you were to divorce.
What can be included in a post-nuptial agreement?
A postnuptial agreement will be different for every couple. They can include whatever you want to include however, they tend to demonstrate what will happen to the assets and finances in the event of divorce or dissolution.
Common things to include are:
- Property that either party brought into the marriage
- What would occur to the family home
- What would occur to any inherited property during the marriage
- What would happen to any joint assets within the marriage
- What would happen to your pensions
- How you would deal with any debts that you may currently have or may incur during your marriage
- If any maintenance is required and, if so, how much and for how long
How to ensure your agreement is legally binding
- Provide full and frank disclosure of your property, assets and income with your spouse
- Both parties should obtain their own legal advice from their own solicitor
- The agreement has to be fair on both parties
- The agreement cannot exclude either party from paying maintenance for any children in the future
- Ensure there is a provision in the agreement for a review during the marriage. Ensuring the agreement is always up to date with life-changing events ie. having a child
Like with any agreement, it’s important to get your agreement reviewed during your marriage. Especially if your circumstances have changed and any children are born. If your agreement doesn’t consider any children you may have, the judge will take your children’s need into consideration before even looking at your postnuptial or prenuptial agreement.
It’s important to know that in England & Wales the divorce courts are not legally bound by your agreement. However, the courts will take your agreement into consideration providing that it’s been prepared in the correct way.