Protecting your assets with a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement
The effective way of helping to protect the assets you take into the marriage, should it break down.
Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
A prenuptial agreement (prenup) is not just for the extraordinarily wealthy or celebrities. No one enters into a marriage thinking that their marriage will end however, whilst some may be of the view that a prenuptial agreement is somewhat romantic, today many people marry later in life therefore may have accumulated more assets by the time they enter into the marriage, this has seen prenuptial agreements become more prevalent amongst newly-weds.
A postnuptial agreement (or postnup) is simply a prenup that is created after the marriage takes place. Postnuptial agreements are useful where there has been a change in circumstances for example:
- receiving an inheritance during the marriage
- the birth of a child
- a new company/business venture
- to record beneficial interests in the assets already owned
What is a prenuptial agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is a document drawn up between a couple prior to their marriage which sets out exactly who owns what out of all the couple’s belongings, assets, property and money. It sets out how those assets should be divided, should the marriage break down.
What is a postnuptial agreement?
A postnuptial agreement is an agreement entered into after marriage or civil-partnership that determines the financial terms of separation, divorce or dissolution.
Who should have a prenuptial agreement?
You should think about setting up a prenup if you:
- have been married before and want to protect assets (for yourself or children)
- have children from an earlier relationship and want to protect their inheritance and keep certain items or assets for them
- are bringing assets and/or property to your marriage that would be difficult to split
- have your own business or investments and want to keep control of them
- want to safeguard money or assets that you are expecting to receive in a future inheritance
Are prenuptial agreements legally binding?
Whilst prenups are not currently legally binding in Jersey, they are becoming more and more accepted by the courts as proof of a couple’s intentions should they wish to divorce in the future, provided they are done correctly, however, it remains the court’s discretion to reject the terms if the court deems them to be unfair.
Are postnuptial agreements legally binding?
Whilst not currently legally binding in Jersey, they can be more likely to be upheld than a prenuptial agreement because there is no looming wedding date putting pressure on the couple to sign.
If you are looking to set up a prenuptial or a postnuptial agreement, our Family Law team has extensive experience in advising couples and working with them to create fair and reasonable agreements for everyone involved.