A post nuptial agreement is an agreement entered into at any point following marriage. The purpose of such an agreement is to set out what would happen to the division of assets on any subsequent marital breakdown. England and Wales is one of the most generous divorce jurisdictions in the world with the starting point for division of assets being 50/50. Whilst there may be legal arguments about concepts such as pre and post marital accrual and business and non business assets in order to seek to ring fence assets not acquired jointly during the marriage, such issues can, if contested invoke legal costs of many thousands of pounds if your marriage breaks down and you end up in a court battle.
A post nuptial agreement sets out clearly what will and what will not be “in the pot” on marital breakdown. You may receive life time gifts or inheritances from family or friends or you may have interests in business assets, or monies or assets from sources outside the marriage which you want to ring fence and protect. Family members may be wary of monies passing to your spouse if your relationship was to fail. Post nuptial agreements can help to guard against this.
Post nuptial agreements have the added benefit over pre-nuptial agreements (ie agreements entered into before marriage) because the “duress” issue is not there and the other party cannot be said to have been pressured into signing the agreement on the basis that the marriage would not proceed.
Post nuptial agreements are like an insurance policy and are there just in case to provide you with security against the “what if” in your relationship.