Leading specialist lawyer, Joanne Major, Principal at Major Family Law, the Divorce and Family Law Specialists, Newcastle upon Tyne responds to a weekly question and answer column in the Journal as follows:

Dear Joanne,

Do I need a Post-Nuptial Agreement as I have been having some issues in my marriage but aren’t they just for celebrities and how do they differ to Pre-Nuptial Agreements?


Dear John,

You will be forgiven for thinking that Pre-Nuptial Agreements and Post-Nuptial Agreements are just for the rich and famous. In fact, they are suitable for most people entering a marriage or civil partnership. Let me explain the difference. A Pre-Nuptial Agreement is a contract signed before a marriage, setting out what should happen in the event the marriage doesn’t work out. A Post-Nuptial Agreement is the same type of contract but signed after the marriage. Pre and Post-Nuptial Agreements have increasingly been given more weight and consideration by the court subject to certain requirements being met.

You could consider making an Agreement if:

You want to protect pre-acquired assets or accumulated wealth, to manage the risks, costs and uncertainty of your marriage breaking down

You want to minimise the risk of arguments in court if your marriage breaks down and reduce the potential for unpredictable outcomes

Either of you have been in previous relationships and there are children from those relationships to consider

You wish for peace of mind

I hope that helps

Major family law Feb 11 (2)