Q&A Is there such a thing as a post-nuptial agreement?

Q:           Two years ago, my husband was in a serious road traffic accident which left him with life changing injuries for which he has received interim payments. We have both been married before and I have three children from a previous marriage. Because of this my husband wants us to have a post-nuptial agreement drawn up before his final compensation is awarded. I have heard of pre-nuptial agreements but was not aware you could have a similar agreement drawn up after marriage. Is this true?

A:           Whilst nuptial agreements are not legally binding in the same way as a valid contract is, the courts in England and Wales will give significant weight to them provided both parties fully appreciated the implications of the agreement before signing it, and it makes sufficient provision to meet both parties’ needs. Such agreements can be pre-nuptial or post-nuptial, and it is possible to vary a nuptial agreement throughout the course of a marriage.

The difference between pre and post nuptial agreements is that a pre-nuptial agreement is prepared and signed prior to a marriage taking place, and a post-nuptial agreement is prepared and signed after the marriage. These days both are seen as equally valid. A solicitor drawing up the agreement will however need to consider different factors in each case to ensure its strength.

There are many reasons why people might consider a nuptial agreement. For example, one or both parties may expect to receive a significant gift or inheritance, or they may have acquired significant pre-marital assets they wish to ringfence or pass on to children from a previous relationship. Another reason may be that they find themselves in the same situation as your husband and need to protect a large compensation award to meet their ongoing needs resulting from their injury. Wider benefits could include saving costs in what might otherwise be contested divorce proceedings if the marriage does not work out.

This question has been answered by Nathan Wright, a Partner with GHP Legal.  If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter it is still possible, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that we continue to offer our high levels of service to our clients.  Where possible, we ask that you communicate with us by phone or email. If you have a new enquiry or for an appointment visit www.ghplegal.com or contact one of our offices: Wrexham 01978 291456, Llangollen 01978 860313, Oswestry 01691 659194 

Nathan Wright, Partner at GHP Legal

Nathan Wright

Partner

A Partner specialising in Family and Matrimonial Law