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A pre-nuptial agreement or ‘pre-nup’ can be very effective as a way of protecting your assets and future financial position when getting married or entering a civil partnership. But what if you are already married and don’t have a pre-nup? Or maybe you have a pre-nup, but your circumstances have changed and you’re worried it’s no longer valid?
That’s where post-nuptial agreements come in.
Like a pre-nuptial agreement, a post-nuptial agreement or ‘post-nup’ is a voluntary written agreement made by a couple that sets out what should happen to their assets/property in the event of a divorce. However, unlike a pre-nup, a post-nup can be made at any time following your marriage.
A post-nup can allow you to protect specific assets or savings for yourself, your children or your business. They can also be useful where there is a significant difference in assets and/or income between you and your partner.
Post-nups are commonly used where there has been a change in circumstances since you married, such as having children or one party to the marriage gaining a better paid job, starting a business or inheriting significant assets.
While a post-nuptial agreement is not legally binding, experience shows that the Courts will take them into account in divorce proceedings and a properly prepared post-nup that is fair to both parties and any children is likely to be upheld by a judge.
The Family Law team at mfg solicitors is highly experienced in negotiating and reviewing post-nups for a wide range of couples, including those of medium and high net worth, so we can make sure you get the protection you need in place as swiftly and smoothly as possible.
Looking for swift advice on a post-nuptial agreement or a more general chat about whether this is the right option for you? Please get in touch.
Why choose mfg solicitors when making a post-nuptial agreement?
Independent recognition as leading family lawyers
Our family law team has been independently recognised with Band 1 ranking by Chambers & Partners and Tier 2 ranking by the Legal 500. We are also Family Law accredited by the Law Society for the high quality of our legal expertise in this sensitive area.
Expertise with medium & high net worth clients
We work with many medium and high net worth individuals, including professionals such as dentists and doctors, as well as farmers and landowners. Our team have particular experience with post-nups covering family businesses and partnerships.
Dedicated personal support every step of the way
We can offer a dedicated specialist solicitor to be by your side through every stage of making a post-nuptial agreement. They will be your consistent point of contact, getting to know you and your requirements, and giving you a high quality, personal service.
Speak to our family lawyers about a post-nup now
Or you can use our simple contact form to ask a question.
How post-nuptial agreements work
When to make a post-nuptial agreement
If you don’t have a pre-nuptial agreement and want certainty over the terms should you one day separate, a post-nuptial agreement can be a good idea and can be made at any time.
If you do have a pre-nuptial agreement, it may no longer be considered valid if your circumstances have changed since the agreement was made in such a way as to make the agreement unfair. Making a post-nuptial agreement may therefore be required.
Events that could invalidate a pre-nuptial agreement include:
- The birth of a child
- Ill health
- Either party acquiring substantial new assets
A post-nuptial agreement can be made to reflect these changes, giving you the same protection you had with your pre-nup.
Requirements for a valid post-nup
For a post-nuptial agreement to have any legal standing, you must ensure the following requirements are met when making the agreement:
- The agreement must be fair to both parties (and any children or other dependants)
- Neither party must be under pressure to sign
- Each party must fully understand the implications of the agreement before signing
- Each party must make a full and frank financial disclosure of all assets to the other party
- Each party must receive independent legal advice before signing the agreement
Using a post-nuptial agreement during divorce
When getting divorced, having a post-nuptial agreement in place can allow you to avoid a lot of uncertainty and conflict by giving both parties certainty over the division of your finances and other practical matters.
The starting point for any divorce settlement is that all assets will be divided equally between the parties. However, if you have a post-nup in place, it can help to protect each party’s pre-marriage assets and specific assets, such as family trusts.
While post-nuptial agreements are not legally binding, a judge will generally take one into consideration as long as the agreement was created properly and your circumstances have not changed since the agreement was made in a way that is not covered by it.
Our post-nuptial agreement fees
The cost of a post-nup is important as you need to be confident that the cost is proportionate to your needs. Our fee structures are straightforward and we will make sure to explain these clearly at the outset, so you can proceed with full confidence.
Fixed fee post-nuptial agreements
Many post-nups can be completed for a fixed price, where the issues involved are straightforward. This means you will know the exact cost involved upfront.
Hourly rates for our family lawyers
For post-nuptial agreements involving more complex issues, we will typically work with you according to an agreed hourly rate. This means you can get the exact level of support you need while being able to easily keep track of your expenditure.
Speak to our post-nup solicitors today
For practical support with making a post-nuptial agreement tailored to your needs, please get in touch now to arrange an initial appointment with our friendly, expert family lawyers.
You also use our simple contact form to ask a question and we will get back to you shortly.
Please note we do not offer a free consultation process on Family matters.