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Learn what post-nuptial agreements are and why people get them with Austin Kemp.
Post-nuptial agreements are agreements entered into at any time after the date of a marriage or civil partnership and are fully enforceable through the courts, just like a pre-nuptial agreement (an agreement entered into before the date of the marriage).
This comes as a surprise to most people. In a landmark ruling in the Supreme Court in 2010, it was decided that post-nuptial agreements can be legally effective, provided they are entered into correctly.
Post-nuptial agreements allow married people to have greater control over what happens to their finances in the unfortunate situation of the marriage breaking down. This is especially important for high net worth individuals with a significant amount of wealth and assets.
In the event of divorce with no pre- or post-nuptial agreement, the court will look at the assets which both parties have obtained during the marriage and divide them in a way that the court decides is fair. In some cases, the court can also look at assets ‘outside of the marriage’ such as investments and wealth brought into the marriage by one party. The court can also take into account the standard of living each party had during the marriage and where there is wealth, needs are often construed very generously.
We can provide expert legal advice at any time throughout your marriage or civil partnership to make sure your assets are fully protected. Post-nuptial agreements can take into account your financial situation including protecting your pension funds and investments and we can provide you with the correct legal advice so that your post-nuptial agreement can be upheld by a court in the unfortunate situation of a relationship breakdown.
We also understand the importance of international assets within post-nuptial agreements and can provide specialist advice with regards to this.
It is important that your post-nuptial agreement is reviewed regularly to make sure it is still meeting both parties’ needs and is still fair. For example, it would be important to review it if you have a child.
We are able to advise you on your post-nuptial agreement whether your marriage is breaking down or you just want to make sure your future is secure. Both parties will require independent legal advice and our expert solicitors can help you through the process, including negotiating those sometimes difficult discussions with the other party.
We are able to prepare a draft post-nuptial agreement for the other party to consider or we can also review an existing agreement.
The process will take at least a month to complete (longer if you have significant overseas assets) and should not be rushed into without the correct legal advice for both parties and mutual financial disclosure as this can render a post-nuptial agreement invalid.