Postnuptial agreements (“Postnups” as they are commonly known) are contracts made between a married couple after their wedding ceremony has taken place.
They are similar to Prenuptial agreements (“Prenups”) in that they set out what should happen to assets in the event that the marriage breaks down. More people are choosing to have Postnups and Prenups to ensure that they clearly provide for what should happen in the event of their marriage breaking down.
Avoiding uncertainty, animosity and high costs
Understandably, people who are getting married or who are already married do not want to consider the possibility that their marriage may end. However, there are those who take a pragmatic approach and agree to detail in a document how their finances shall be dealt with in the event they were to go their separate ways.
Why do they do this? It’s often because they’re seeking to avoid the uncertainty, animosity and high costs that can follow if there is no such agreement in place.
Protecting one’s wealth and inheritance at a later stage in life
Furthermore, more people are getting married in later life, when they have each built up wealth prior to their relationship. They may want their grown-up children to receive their wealth, without the fear of it passing automatically to their new spouse should the marriage fail.
Family lawyers appreciate that many people consider Postnups and Prenups to be unromantic and a bit of a dampner on the marriage. However, when people realise just how emotionally draining and expensive a separation without one can be, they are often encouraged to seriously consider having one drawn up.
It’s worth remembering that a marriage is already a contract between two people, so a contract setting out their position in relation to finances makes a lot of sense and should at least be considered.