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Postnuptial agreement checklist

Make it Legal™ Checklist

Here are a few important steps to take to finish your document

Read the document carefully to make sure it meets your needs.

Both of you must understand that if you sign this Postnuptial Agreement and it’s upheld by the courts, neither of you will have any claim against the other for maintenance or support if the marriage or civil partnership ends.

Remember that if you have any questions you can easily Ask a lawyer.

Postnuptial Agreements are not currently legally binding in England and Wales. However, if you follow some simple rules when entering into it, there is no reason why the Postnu should not be upheld by the courts. The most important points to help make sure your Postnuptial Agreement is upheld are:

  • be completely honest with each other about what you own and earn

  • the Postnup works best if your circumstances are fairly equal, as this Postnup confirms that neither of you will seek maintenance from the other if the marriage or civil partnership breaks down

  • both of you must take independent legal advice before signing

  • the Postnup must be made by both of you, with no undue pressure from either of you

  • your signatures must be witnessed by different witnesses

For more information, read Postnuptial agreements.

Before entering into a Postnuptial Agreement, each party should seek independent legal advice from a legal adviser (ie solicitor or barrister). You can use Rocket Lawyer’s independent legal advice service for Postnuptial Agreements for this. 

The adviser will provide the necessary advice on your document. Once they have done so, they will complete the appropriate certificate of independent specialist legal adviser in Schedule 3. 

Once you have received the independent legal advice, you should complete the appropriate relevant statement in Schedule 4. By signing this statement, you are confirming that you have obtained the necessary advice and that you understand the effects of entering into a qualifying nuptial agreement (ie that the courts will enforce the agreement apart from in certain circumstances).

Have you both taken independent legal advice?  If not, don’t sign.

The Postnuptial Agreementis a special type of contract called a 'deed'. This means it must be signed in a special way:

  1. Print a copy for each person (the parties).

    You must print a copy of your deed and sign it physically. Deeds can legally be signed using electronic signatures, but extra care must be taken when signing electronically to ensure that all of the formalities for execution of the particular type of deed are met. This deed is, therefore, designed to be signed by hand (ie ‘wet-signed’) to ensure that it is executed correctly. You cannot sign online.
  2. You need two different witnesses to witness this Postnup, one for each party. Each witness:

    1. must be independent (ie not be a family member)

    2. have mental capacity, and 

    3. should also not be under the age of 18

  3. Each party should sign the Postnup on the line beside their name, using their normal signature, in front of their witness.

  4. The witnesses must sign on the line beside the words ‘Witness signature’ and underneath write out their name, address and occupation in the spaces provided.

  5. Complete the Postnup by writing the date in the space provided at the top.

Make a copy for each party and store the originals safely away.

Review your Postnup regularly, especially if there are any changes to your circumstances.

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