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Can a Postnuptial Agreement Save a Marriage?

We are seeing an increasing trend in couples deciding to enter into a postnuptial agreement to save their marriage. 

Sometimes married couples get to a stage where they feel that financial matters are having such an impact on their marriage that entering into a postnuptial agreement is the only way to alleviate their financial concerns. So, they sign a postnuptial agreement to stop their marriage from breaking down.

A postnuptial agreement is a document which sets out how a couple will divide their assets in the event their marriage breaks down. Although enforceable in many countries outside the UK, postnuptial agreements are not currently legally binding in England and Wales and cannot be used to limit or oust the jurisdiction of the divorce court. However, following the case of Radmacher v Granatino in 2010 and the publishing of the Law Commission’s Report on 27 February 2014, courts are likely to give considerable weight to post-nuptial agreements if certain safeguards have been put in place.

When entering into a postnuptial agreement, it is important that both you and your spouse have all the information you need to make an informed decision and that you both want the agreement to govern the financial consequences of the marriage coming to an end. If you are considering a postnuptial agreement you should contact a family solicitor because it is essential to ensure that the agreement has been entered into correctly and that it does not prejudice the reasonable requirements of any children you may have.

The court will usually follow the wishes of a postnuptial agreement that is freely entered into by a married couple who have a full appreciation of its implications, unless it would be unfair to hold the couple to their agreement.

Postnuptial agreements are therefore becoming increasingly popular since they provide couples with confidence that their financial matters will be adequately dealt with should the marriage break down.

If you wish to have a postnuptial or prenuptial agreement drawn up or require advice in relation to the benefits of entering into an agreement, contact one of our specialist family lawyers on freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online.

Joanne Green is a family law solicitor at Slater and Gordon’s Milton Keynes office.

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