As the name suggests, a post nuptial agreement, or a ‘postnup’, is an agreement made after marriage between a husband and wife.
We may hold the view that this agreement is only necessary if the state of their relationship has deteriorated – well, that may not be necessarily so.
Parties are free to decide what the agreement should cover; some of the areas may include: how the children’s educational needs will be arranged, retirement plans or even plans to migrate or relocate. Some parties choose to enter into a post nuptial agreement due to significant changes to their family’s circumstances after their marriage that warrant serious planning, such as inheritance, children, or plans to migrate overseas.
Some couples may also have provisions in their pre-nuptial agreements that call for a post nuptial agreement if there are changes in circumstances. This is very common in cases where one spouse’s financial position changes and their obligations under the prenuptial agreements cannot be met.
I have also drafted post nuptial agreements for parties who, having faced issues in their marriage and choose to enter into an agreement to ease insecurities and as a sign of commitment to one another.
Broadly, I see many married couples enter into post nuptial agreements that usually cover the realities of life that the family may face and how they would want to have matters dealt with. There are indeed benefits.
But are post nuptial agreements binding? And if they are, are they not for the wealthy?
In Singapore, the Courts tend to place greater weight on post nuptial agreements as they are current in reflecting parties’ intentions. At the point of singing a post nuptial agreement, parties have already undertaken the obligations and responsibilities of marriage, whereas for a prenup, the agreement is made at a point before parties have even committed themselves to each other through marriage.
Like all contractual agreements, all the requirements of contract laws in Singapore must be met and the terms must be just and equitable under the Women’s Charter. The agreement must be entered into voluntarily and not under any form of duress or misrepresentations.
So, it is important to have your post-nuptial agreement drawn up by a skilled and experienced lawyer to ensure the agreement meets all specific requirements under the law.
Nuptial agreements are not just for the wealthy as commonly perceived. Nuptial agreements are open to all and have spared many from long drawn battles in court, unhappiness and inconvenience when things don’t work out or one spouse passes away.