If you are already married or in a civil partnership, then it may be in your best interests to create a postnuptial agreement. This will set out exactly who owns what and how finances will be divided if you and your partner decide to separate in the future.
In an ideal world, you will never need to use a postnup. However, for many couples, it is sensible to have a level of protection in place, as no one can predict what the future has in store.
At Preston Redman, our team of dedicated family solicitors can work with you to negotiate and draft a robust postnuptial agreement, as well as advise you if you have been given a postnup by your partner to sign.
We understand that discussing the possibility of a divorce or civil partnership dissolution is far from pleasant but creating a postnup could help to save considerable time and stress later on and reduce the risk of a disruptive separation.
We serve clients across Bournemouth, Poole and the wider Dorset area, with our main goal being to help you come to an agreement without stirring up any unnecessary conflict with your partner. We are members of Resolution, an organisation of family lawyers who are committed to promoting constructive family law resolutions.
Our head of Family Law, Tim Flower, has particular expertise in taking a constructive approach to family law matters and is an accredited specialist of the Law Society’s Family Law Panel.
What is a postnuptial agreement?
A postnuptial agreement is a document you and your partner can create and sign after you get married. It details exactly what will happen to finances and other important assets such as property should the relationship end in the future.
Why make a postnup?
The changing nature of relationships and marriage means that very few people get married or enter a civil partnership at the very start of their adult life. Not only this, increasing numbers of people are getting divorced and remarrying later in life, which means that it is common to enter a new relationship with significant assets such as property.
Under UK law, if you get divorced or dissolve your civil partnership, you and your former partner are required to split your assets according to what is ‘fair’, rather than according to who owns them. This can sometimes include assets acquired individually before the marriage, unless you make a postnuptial agreement.
You should consider making a postnup if:
- You have assets you do not want to split with your partner
- If one of you has inherited or is due to inherit and you don’t want those sums to become amalgamated with matrimonial funds
- You have a business you want to keep out of divorce or dissolution proceedings
- Your partner has debts that you do not want to be responsible for
- You have children from a previous relationship for whom you want to protect assets, inheritance and any previous divorce or dissolution financial arrangements
Not every couple separates on good terms, but the potential for disputes can be significantly reduced if a postnup is put in place at an early stage.
If you are unsure whether you are in a suitable position to create a postnup, or if it’s right for your particular situation, we will be able to provide tailored advice to help you make an informed decision.
Is a postnup legally binding in the UK?
Postnups are not strictly legally binding. However, a judge will be highly influenced by a postnup if certain requirements are satisfied, including:
- You and your partner were both forthcoming about the assets you own
- You both received independent legal advice and the agreement was drawn up by a qualified lawyer
- You both fully understand the agreement and its effects
- The agreement is fair to both parties, especially if one partner is in a significantly stronger financial position than the other
- There was no undue pressure on either party to sign the agreement
Can a postnup be done without a lawyer?
It is technically possible to create a postnup without a lawyer, but this is not advised. If you do not seek independent legal advice, or get the postnup drawn up by a lawyer, you run the risk of the agreement being unenforceable in court.
If you want your financial interests to be fully respected and upheld, it is vital that you consult a legal professional for advice and guidance.
How do prenuptial agreements differ from postnuptial agreements?
The only real difference between a prenup and a postnup is the point when it is created. A prenup is created before a couple have married or entered into a civil partnership and a postnup is made after.
The legal effect of both agreements is exactly the same. Neither are strictly legally binding, but do hold significant weight in court, so long as the terms are fair to both parties.
Why choose our postnuptial agreement solicitors in Bournemouth?
At Preston Redman, our expert family law solicitors have a wealth of combined experience in a wide range of family law matters. We are members of the Law Society Family Law Advanced Accreditation Scheme, with Tim Flower being an accredited specialist of the Family Law Panel.
Amongst our team, Mark Hensleigh and Helen Davies are members of Resolution. Mark is also a qualified mediator, with expertise in facilitating postnuptial agreement discussions, helping clients to come to efficient and cost-effective agreements.
Preston Redman is independently regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).