English courts accept pre-nuptial agreements


Posted in General on 22 October 2010

The UK Supreme Court has ruled that pre-nuptial agreements are legally binding in England and Wales, reports the BBC, after the ex-husband of Katrin Radmacher, heiress to a German paper company, failed in his bid to secure a larger share of her £100m fortune. The Supreme Court stated that these agreements signed before a couple gets married so that they can manage their financial affairs, could have 'decisive or compelling weight' in disputes that may arise if a couple subsequently splits.

The Radmacher case was seen by many lawyers as a test case as previously pre-nuptial agreements were never legally binding in England and Wales, this ruling means that the UK falls into line with the USA and much of Europe in recognising agreements that are drawn up by couples before they get married.

The case represents a large shift in UK law, where previously the person benefitting from the pre-nuptial agreement had to fight very hard in order to show that the agreement should be followed. Now it seems that there will be a presumption that pre-nuptial contracts will be upheld unless the person trying to extricate themselves from the contract can demonstrate a compelling reason for it to be disregarded.

Lord Phillips, President of The Supreme Court did state that courts would still have the discretion to waive pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreements, especially when it was unfair to any children of the marriage.

The Law Commission is due to report in 2012 on whether a change in the law should be made to ensure that all pre-nuptial agreements are fully enforceable.

While we can’t insure any agreement made between a couple before they get married, Dreamsaver Wedding Insurance can provide financial protection should anything go wrong on the wedding day.

Author: Adam


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