Post marital agreements – what are they?

As we approach wedding season, it’s more than likely that you know someone who will be getting married, or perhaps may be getting married yourself. Whilst wedding planning is at the forefront of everyone’s mind, there are sometimes other details that can be overlooked throughout the madness of organisation.

Many people believe premarital agreements (pre-nup/pre-nuptial) are the only way to determine what would happen to their finances and assets following a breakdown in marriage and that entering a marriage without one, will leave them unprotected should divorce come about. However, what a lot of people don’t know is that it is still possible to enter into an agreement to secure all of their assets – even after marriage.

This is called a post marital agreement (post-nuptial agreement).

What is this?

Post marital agreements are for those who are already married or in a civil partnership. This agreement is essentially a similar type of legal document to a premarital agreement except it is entered into during a marriage, rather than beforehand.

The purpose of a post marital agreement is to document all decisions reached between a married couple in regards to what will happen to money, assets, possessions and inheritances if their marriage were to breakdown. Essentially, it aims to keep assets individual rather than enabling them to become marital property within the shared pot.

When deciding to draw up a post marital agreement, this assumes that the other party would be willing to sign one as well as yourself. Without both parties’ consent, an agreement cannot be made.

What should be included?

Essentially, you want all assets important to you to be protected. Some common elements of post marital agreements are:

  • Matrimonial homes – it may be decided which party would be entitled to remain or if the property is sold and finances split if the marriage breaks down.
  • Inheritances – Sometimes inheritances or property owned before marriages can be kept out of the shared pot.
  • Business assets – one party may own a business or have significant business interests before the marriage had been entered.
  • Savings & pensions – The complete extent of these should always be made clear from the beginning.

When should you think about getting one?

The key is in the ‘post’ part of the name. If you have not considered or written a premarital agreement, this is where the post marital agreement comes into play.

It’s particularly important to consider looking at one of these if you are about to enter a second marriage. This can act as a way of protecting assets from your first marriage, including for any children you may have from that.

Are these legally binding?

Although a fairly new concept within England and Wales, post marital agreements are not automatically enforceable. It is still important to consider creating one of these however, as they can influence the outcome of divorce settlements and offer you protection on a number of things, for example, a financial settlement. If individual legal advice is sought after and have given full financial disclosure, these agreements have more of a stand within Court.

We can help you!

Our expert family team at Parrott & Coales have extensive experiences dealing with all sorts of matters and are happy to speak through any queries you may have. With a free 20 minute initial consultation, our team can offer you pragmatic advice and guidance no matter the situation.

If you would like to talk to one of our experts about beginning the proceedings of a post marital agreement, get in touch today by filling out the form below or giving us a call on 01296 318 500.