Prenuptial Agreements Law Reform

The Commission stated that marriage contracts should only be legally binding when the financial obligations of the separating couple and the children have been fulfilled. The Commission warns that the establishment of marriage contracts without protection of the needs of the parties would be “very damaging”. Would qualified marriage contracts give autonomy and control to couples? Or does English law go too far? Marriage contracts should be legally binding in divorce agreements, but it was only after the needs of the separating couple and any children had been taken into account that the Legal Commission had recommended. We have extensive experience in drafting marriage contracts (and post-marital contracts) for a number of international clients, including international families, expatriate professionals, celebrities, wealthy entrepreneurs and individuals who all have ties abroad. Couples who marry or enter into a life partnership often don`t think about how their legal obligations will change. We can prepare agreements to ensure the security of their financial rights and obligations should the relationship break down. In DB v PB [2016], the High Court was limited at its discretion by the existence of valid marriage contracts (in this case, the parties had signed two in Sweden and one in America). The prenups contained clauses confirming the jurisdiction of the Swedish courts. While the judge ruled that the agreement was unfair to the wife, he said she should not simply be “torn apart” because the courts had to respect party autonomy. He was also unable to issue a maintenance order (since the English court did not have jurisdiction) and the terms of the prenup did not allow him to issue a sharing price. It is generally expected that the proposal will increase interest in marriage contracts. But what will be the impact on divorce and spouse? There is no specific legislation on marriage contracts, so their status has been determined by case law, especially in the Radmacher vs.

Granatino case before the Supreme Court (read more below). While some remain skeptical that such legally binding agreements would undermine marriage and illustrate that English law goes too far, others welcome the proposed reforms. . . .

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