Many happily married couples discuss whether they believe they could be amicable if they were to hypothetically divorce.
It’s certainly not as unusual as you might think, with some couples wanting to protect their assets they have built up before their relationship began and others planning for what would happen to their children, pets or shared belongings.
Many couples will seek advice from our specialist family lawyers on postnuptial agreements that are entered into after marriage. Some of those who enter into postnuptial agreements are happily married, although others may enter into such an agreement when there is a strain upon their relationship.
What are Postnuptial Agreements?
Postnuptial agreements are similar to prenuptial agreements where couples will set out how they would like their assets or income to be divided if they were to divorce in the future.
Whilst prenuptial agreements are usually entered into before a marriage, postnuptial agreements are commonly entered into many years after a marriage has taken place.
Postnuptial agreements are particularly common where people are older and perhaps are in their second marriage or have children from their first marriage.
A postnuptial agreement can be a tailor made document and can be as simple or as detailed as required. It can set out how you would like your assets or income to be divided upon separation or divorce.
The aim of such a document is to try and reduce potential conflict in the future by setting out clearly what your intentions might be. At the time of going through a divorce or separation relations can be fraught and therefore having an agreement in place should make matters easier.
Why Should You Enter Into a Postnuptial Agreement?
Postnuptial agreements are particularly helpful where an individual is trying to protect a particular asset such as a business, farm or property. It is very common for people to enter into nuptial agreements when they have inherited a lot of money or the majority of their wealth has been accrued before the marriage itself.
It is certainly worth considering whether it is appropriate to enter into a nuptial agreement either before or after marriage to clearly set out what your intentions are. Even if you are happily married there is certainly no harm in planning for the future. Most people do not take out a home insurance policy anticipating that their home will burn down.
Particularly where children are involved, it is important to try and keep relationship breakdown as amicable as possible and having a framework in place such as a postnuptial agreement can be of great assistance.
For further advice on either prenups or postnuptial agreements, please contact the family solicitors at Slater and Gordon Lawyers on freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online.
Amy Harris is a family lawyer at Slater and Gordon in London.