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Post Nuptial Agreements

Whether you have been in a short or a long marriage it is almost certain that your circumstances have changed and things have happened during your relationship that nobody could have predicted. So if you want to do something as simple as, for example, protect your inheritance assets from any claims by your spouse , it is worth considering making a Post Nuptial Agreement.

Do post nuptial agreements carry any weight?

In recent years courts have increasingly upheld the terms of Pre-Nuptial and Post Nuptial agreements. Pursuant to the (2008) Privy Council decision in the case of Macleod v Macleod and the later (2010) Supreme Court decision Radmacher -v- Granatino Pre-Nuptial and Post-Nuptial agreements will be given very considerable weight. They will not be enforced as a straight question of contract, and they cannot oust the jurisdiction of the court to examine the circumstances upon a divorce, but provided they comply with the principles of general fairness the effect of them should be upheld.

Protecting your inheritance

Our clients are often concerned about how they can protect their inheritances from future claims from their spouses. Generally, the courts will give some distinction for this in any event. However, a Post Nuptial will add an extra element of security and protection if your family is concerned about the effect of a gift. A Post Nuptial is a personalised document so it can, for example, include a list of gifted assets and a specific definition which may distinguish family wealth from the wealth you have generated during the marriage.

Whilst a Post Nuptial Agreement may cost you some fees and negotiation in the short term, it is much better than going to court and having a series of court disputes that drag on for years and where it may be impossible to see what the parties originally intended. A Post Nuptial Agreement will limit the areas open to dispute.

We recommend you get in touch and discuss a Post Nuptial Agreement with us if you think it could assist you. See also our problem scenario below.

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Post Nuptial Agreement Scenario

Mr and Mrs K have enjoyed a long 25 year marriage and have two children of the marriage who are now adult. Unfortunately however, after many years, Mrs K had an affair with her personal trainer. Mr K finds out about this and agrees to forgive the affair provided of course that Mrs K terminates the relationship which she does.

The parties attend marriage guidance counselling and it seems relatively certain that they will be able to go on living together in the future. One problem however is that, immediately around the time of the affair, Mr K received a large and substantial gift from his family as part of their inheritance planning. The family know about the recent difficulties in the relationship between Mr and Mrs K and are anxious to ensure the gifted money goes straight to the children. Mrs K agrees this.

Our Solution:
We draw up a Post Nuptial agreement which records the gift from the family and also the precise terms of the proposed settlement between the parties.

Note: The above scenario does not relate to any individual clients of ours but the facts and the outcomes relate to some similar experiences in our practice. 

What our clients are saying:

‘CD’, North London

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