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Posted on: 4 January 2024 by Goodwins Family Law Solicitors
A postnuptial agreement is a legal document that a married couple signs after they are married. This agreement sets out how their assets — money, property, debts — will be divided if they ever decide to divorce or separate.
If you’re thinking about acquiring a postnuptial agreement, it’s important to understand everything there is to know before you begin.
A postnuptial agreement is a binding legal document drawn up between spouses after marriage. It’s designed to clarify how assets and finances will be divided if the marriage ends. This agreement can be especially important in marriages where significant assets or property are involved, as it provides peace of mind and financial clarity for both parties.
In England and Wales, postnuptial agreements are recognised by law, provided they are fair and entered into voluntarily by both parties. It’s essential that each party understands the implications of the agreement, and ideally, both should receive independent legal advice. The courts will consider these agreements during divorce proceedings, but they have the discretion to waive them if deemed unfair.
Couples can create a postnuptial agreement at any stage of their marriage; there’s no fixed period after the wedding to enter into such an agreement. This flexibility allows couples to respond to changing circumstances, such as inheritance, a significant increase in assets or a change in career paths.
Typically, a postnuptial agreement includes the division of property, assets and debt. However, it doesn’t include child custody or support, as these are determined based on the child’s best interests at the time of separation or divorce.
Couples may consider a postnuptial agreement in various scenarios. These include receiving an inheritance, substantial changes in financial status, or when one partner opts out of the workforce. It is also an option for those who initially didn’t get a prenuptial agreement but later recognised the value of having a clear financial understanding in place.
Postnuptial agreements are increasingly regarded as a practical approach to managing financial affairs in a marriage. They can strengthen a relationship by reducing uncertainty and providing a clear plan for the future.
For a postnuptial agreement to be legally binding, it must be entered into voluntarily and without undue influence or pressure. Full financial disclosure is required from both parties, and independent legal advice is strongly advised to ensure fairness and understanding.
Although creating a new Will alongside a postnuptial agreement isn’t mandatory, it’s wise to review and possibly update your Will to reflect any new arrangements made in the postnuptial agreement.
Considering the intricacies of postnuptial agreements, it’s prudent to seek professional advice. At Goodwins Family Law Solicitors, we are equipped to guide you through this process. We get to understand the unique nuances of your situation and provide personalised legal solutions.
Read further advice and guidance in our online Advice Centre.
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