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Is there a pre-nup equivalent after getting married?

(25 Posts)
PollyGasson24 Mon 27-Nov-17 12:12:52

Haven't thought this all through properly, and I admit to knowing next to nothing about legalities of separation etc...

Say for example your dh had been a bit of dick at a few points in your relationship. Not enough to leave, and you still love each other. But you now have a niggling feeling that he's not 100% trustworthy (although hasn't done anything wrong for years... that you know of... ) and you don't fully trust him to still be there once the DC have flown the nest and you're no longer required as childcare/ career enabler and all round facilitator. His wandering eye may reappear and you get traded in for a younger model or something.

If this happens I'd be screwed. Can't get a job as doesn't fit with his work, DC, experience and qualifications are irrelevant, long gap out of work, etc, so pension will be peanuts. While his is looking pretty healthy, and there's no doubt his potential earning capacity far outweighs mine for the foreseeable future.

From what I've heard, maintenance is only until DC hit a certain age, once you get a job again (which would be pretty poorly paid, in all probability) that's it as for seeing any of that money you helped him earn and future proof as a damn good pension.

Is there any way to ensure a fair share of pensions etc, before divorce is even being considered? (And at this point, it's hypothetical, but you never know.)
Is there a way of writing a pre-nup equivalent once married?
Or am I sleep deprived (snoring and DC nightmares) and completely deluded? smile

fredericapotterslawyer Mon 27-Nov-17 12:33:11

You can get a mid-nup or a post-nup (basically the same thing) after marriage but generally these are used by the economically stronger partner to protect their assets. As far as I know, marriage provides better protection than any contract you can have drawn up. But if you're worried, maybe make an appointment with a solicitor and see where you stand?

BatteredBreadedOrSouthernFried Mon 27-Nov-17 12:36:37

I suspect the best bet in that scenario is a kick ass solicitor and a decent judge.

If you have been a SAHM wouldn’t you be entitled to some of his pension?

mintbiscuit Mon 27-Nov-17 12:38:56

Sometimes spousal maintenance can be payable until pension age, or for a time period after dc are over 19. Depends on length of time together I think. You would be awarded a slice of his pension.

SometimesMaybe Mon 27-Nov-17 12:46:19

In any divorce you would be awarded based on time together what you earned as a couple - so some of his pension. Though often a spouse will forgo the pension pot for another asset (e,g. The house).

If you are thinking long term you have plenty time to think about a job now so that in 10-15 years time if/when you divorce you are in a better position.
Alternatively, it it often tax efficient to put savings etc in the non-earning spouses name - so set up your own private pension, ISAs etc from joint money.

mummyretired Mon 27-Nov-17 12:47:46

Getting a fair share of pensions should be part of the divorce settlement - one reason for my own pre-nup was to ensure that we both retained our own.

I'd be looking at making yourself more employable in whatever way is possible.

WillowWeeping Mon 27-Nov-17 12:54:53

Get yourself employment ready and then divorce your DH so that you get half the marital assets.

LoverOfCake Mon 27-Nov-17 12:58:09

Honestly? If I had a spouse who suddenly started insisting on a (mid-nup) or whatever it's been called here and started making plans for our divorce I would divorce them now rather than later. But the reality is that if it was that straightforward then everyone would be doing it and they're not. Even pre-nups aren't worth the paper they're written on in this country.

In terms of assets, as his wife you would be entitled to at least half the assets of the marriage i.e. House etc and that may increase dependent on whether you have children living at home at the time and the arrangements for those etc. Meanwhile though you need to look at making yourself as employable as possible if you're planning to leave because there are no guarantees. And while I absolutely appreciate that the longer one stays out of the workplace the harder it is to get back into things unless you have a long-term disability or illness which actively prevent you from working the courts are not going to take having been home with the children as a reason to grant life-long spousal maintenance.

TalkinBoutWhat Mon 27-Nov-17 13:04:05

I think a post-nup is actually MORE accepted in the UK courts than a pre-nup, and are often used as a way of backing up a pre-nup (you could sign a post-nup which says pretty much the same as a pre-nup). It's a way of protecting assets that you build up after marriage. So if your parents want to give you money, it can be protected by a post-nup.

Or he could invest in a property, you could invest in a business, and the property and the business are to remain outside of the marital assets and not to be considered in the division of assets afterwards, regardless of whether one is worth more than the other at the time of separation/divorce.

But the same rules apply, you each have to seek independent legal advice before signing the post-nup. And similarly, if they leave one of the parties in a particularly unfair situation, the court can overrule the post-nup.

Where a post-nup is more effective is where you've already had children, you already know the financial implications of your decisions (eg if one of you has sacrificed their career to be a stay at home parent). These are now not things that you could not have expected to have foreseen the true financial implication of because they were too far in the future, because you've already either lived them; are in the middle of them; or they are closer to you and in the forefront of your mind when you are making the agreement and financial decisions, etc.

Ttbb Mon 27-Nov-17 13:06:04

You can but all of your assists would be spilt upon divorce-wouldn't that be enough?

PollyGasson24 Mon 27-Nov-17 20:01:59

Ttbb tbh, no it's not. As someone who had little choice other than to give up work so he could progress, I find it v unfair that even if I could get a decent job now (which I haven't found) and work my arse off, even if assets are split 'fairly' if he leaves, I'll still bench worse off than he would. We started out in the relationship on an equal footing. It's not due to luck and his hard work alone that he is in a v good financial situation now and I'm not. So why should we not come out of it equally.

I would not expect lifelong spousal maintenance or half pension shares... But half shares based on combined pension assets seems fair, unless one of us then got another partner and therefore didn't need it.
I've mentioned paying into a pension fund on my behalf right now, which seems to have been ignored.
You only have to read threads on here and actual news reports which show how badly off women are if their partner leaves, solely because they took time out for family childcare. It's disgusting.

PollyGasson24 Mon 27-Nov-17 20:05:01

Thx for the input so far, obviously there's a lot to look into.

PollyGasson24 Mon 27-Nov-17 20:20:16

loverofcake well hopefully for you, you're in a relationship in which your partner has never shown reason to be untrustworthy then. Believe me, it's a bit of a shock to realise the person you have given up personal financial stability for (which is what it comes down to, and in our case there was no other workable solution in which I could retain this independence) is fully capable of lying to you for most of your relationship, most of this revolving around his need for validation from other women. And everything that goes with that. And his work provides plenty of ongoing opportunities for it to continue without any risk of discovery, if this is what he chooses to do.

PaintingByNumbers Mon 27-Nov-17 20:26:28

You would split all assets 50:50 anyway, as a starting point, and that includes pensions. But, yes, you can get postnups or a more general agreement. I'm getting one that says our inheritances are to be kept separate from the main pot in case of divorce. Not absolutely binding though.

Hermonie2016 Mon 27-Nov-17 20:32:03

An agreement post marriage isn't valid (very recent advice from family law barrister).

Ultimately its about needs.All assets are considered joint and basis of split is 50:50.

My ex was equally unhappy to pay into a pension for me, however he will have to share his pension pot so it was short sighted of him.Ny income went on family expenses.
Sadly women are worse off post divorce and men are financially better off because they have tended not to have the majority of childcare.
If you think a separation will happen the best you can do is invest in yourself career wise, if dc allow.
Your age is a factor, if you are 40 or under you are more likely to expect to return to higher income than if you are 50+ .

What you receive, if it goes to court, largely depends on assets in the marriage and what a judge feels is reasonable.There is no formula other than CMS everything else is by your Hs agreement or a judge ordered decision.

I would start discussions re your pension, if the marriage lasts you both benefit from higher savings in retirement.If it doesnt there is more in the pot to distribute.

PollyGasson24 Mon 27-Nov-17 20:40:59

Thx Hermione. Think I'm screwed then, being closer to 50, with primary aged DC and a dh who works away often. Makes me so mad that it's so unequal still, and I never realised it til it was too late.
Unfortunately have seen a nasty side of dh on uncovering some of his past actions and motivations, so I no longer have faith that he would be 'fair' in a financial separation, particularly if DC are past the maintenance age, I have realised how selfish he ultimately can be.

Ellisandra Mon 27-Nov-17 21:10:30

It's wrong to say that pre and post nups are not worth the paper they are written on. They are not absolutely binding, but there is plenty of case law for both being upheld. If your agreement has been made without undue pressure and isn't blatantly unfair, there's no reason why a court would over rule it.

Be3Al2Si6O18 Mon 27-Nov-17 21:10:48

Yes. It is called divorce.

Hermonie2016 Mon 27-Nov-17 21:34:56

Closer to 50 and still young dcs means you are more likely to have a claim for spousal as its unreasonable to expect you to return to high earnings but if your H can't afford spousal then its not relevant anyway.

PollyGasson24 Mon 27-Nov-17 22:22:04

Oh, he'd be able to afford it.
It just seems to me that the 'need' calculation is usually based on taking DC into account and once they've left you're pretty much on your own, despite him not having had any negative effect on earnings and wage, while you (me) are generally on a low rung and not likely to progress much, so struggling for the foreseeable future.
I hope I'm wrong, but as the return to work isn't panning out, and he's proven he can be pretty selfish, sly and deceitful when it suits him, I'd like to take all possible precautions. Obviously this is a worst case scenario, but if he's genuinely 'changed', I don't see why he should have a problem with it. Surely he should be happy to make me feel more secure.
Visit to Family Law in the New Year then.

Hermonie2016 Wed 29-Nov-17 21:57:36

You would be entitled to share of pension so there is equality in retirement.
You maybe entitled to more equity or assets if your earning capacity means lower ability to get a mortgage.

Don't be too downbeat..he may have more income post divorce but there is more to life than money.
Good luck

LadyLapsang Wed 29-Nov-17 22:28:32

Do you think you may nudge him towards divorce if you start talking post-nups / legal advice. Surely you must have a solid career behind you if you if you are nearly 50 with primary aged children, and you can't have been out of work for that long. I would look towards restarting your career. You won't get your state pension until 67, that's 18 years away.

PollyGasson24 Thu 30-Nov-17 06:09:57

lady, if securing my future nudges him towards divorce just based on that, chances are he's thinking about cutting loose at some point anyway.
Part of that prob is I won't be going back to that good career, due to time out and changed circumstances, so I need to look at other ways of becoming more financially secure just in case. Let's face it, proportionally more women who were sahm and who go back to work at around 50 never get anywhere near their previous earnings, for various reasons. I'm not discounting going back to work by any means, but I will def be at a financial disadvantage whatever happens.

CoyoteCafe Thu 30-Nov-17 07:17:06

I have a post nup. My DH's job is similar to your DH's in that it really destroyed my ability to work successful while raising our child with autism. We went through a VERY rough period and considered divorce.

The post nup was part of giving our marriage another chance. I told him that I could not go back to being the primary caretaker with him being married to his job because it made me too financially vulnerable. We struggled with that for a while, and then I suggested a post nup. He wrote the first draft, it was very generous. He told me that he didn't want me to feel like I needed to stay for the money, and that he didn't want us to fight about money to support our children.

I wanted to share because the conventional wisdom that asking for a post nup could cause him to want to divorce, or that the point of a post nup is for the financially stronger partner to protect assets was not my experience; but then again we were already using the word "divorce," so post nup was a more promising concept.

However, if he is sly and deceitful, think through how you can best protect yourself. May be talking to a lawyer first is a better option. You know your husband.

I don't know anything about the laws in the UK. My DH is British, but I'm American and we've never lived in Britain. In the US, the goal is ALWAYS for the wife to become financially independent again. Spousal maintenance is separate from child support. Maintenance is usually paid for 1 year for every 5 years of marriage. If the wife doesn't have the skills or education to support herself, the husband can be required to pay for her education / training.

Good luck.

flumpybear Thu 30-Nov-17 07:23:23

Please do something, I’ve close friends who gave up work to be the loving housewife who are now screwed whilst husbands leap off their pedestal to their younger wives

Personally I’d pick the career route but that’s just me because I ajeays told myself no man would ever ruin my life like my dad did to my mum! Albeit she walked back into her career and did well I learnt my lesson from her!

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