The rise of post-nuptial agreements

Gone are the days when married people agreed to split their assets 50:50

These agreements seem to be on the rise and much like a pre-nuptial agreement – which takes place before the wedding – post-nuptials lay out how assets will be split on divorce.

Gone are the days when married people agreed to split their assets 50:50. More and more are drawing up “post-nup” agreements, sometimes long after their marriage – triggered by a financial event such as receiving a windfall.

There are rumours that celebrity couples, such as Beyoncé and Jay Z, have used these agreements to split their assets after both amassed significant earnings.

There are no statistics about the number of post-nups drawn up each year, as they are private arrangements, but they seem to be on the rise.

So, what reasons lie behind these agreements.  The most popular reason is where one half of the couple unexpectedly comes into money and wants to protect it.  This can be money gained from an investment or from an inheritance that they want to ringfence.  Second marriages and more complicated family structures also make the need for post-nups greater.

This seems a sensible and amicable approach in ensuring there is financial stability.

Here are some tips on broaching the subject:

  1. Discuss it as part of more general financial planning
  1. If there are children from a previous relationship, it is fair to ensure some money is passed to them
  2. Parents can suggest a pre-or post-nup as a condition of passing down their wealth
  3. Partnerships or companies can have a business-wide policy that all owners must have a pre-or post-nup
  4. We buy insurance to protect against potential bad things in life, why not protect against divorce?