Pre-Nuptial Agreements

Do Pre-Nuptial Agreements Work?

Can Pre-Nuptial Agreements be Binding in the Future?

The Law Commission has recently published a report which makes interesting reading as it recommends a number of wide-ranging proposals designed to give clearer guidance to couples about how their financial issues will be determined by the Court on divorce.

The most eye-catching suggestion relates to the idea of pre-nuptial agreements becoming binding in English law. This has long been the position in other countries, but as it stands at the moment, a pre-nuptial agreement is not automatically enforceable by the Court here at the time of a divorce. Although Courts have increasingly been willing to enforce them, there is no guarantee they will always be upheld. 

It is now proposed that qualifyingpre-nuptial agreements will be binding if a number of safeguards have been met, such as the parties having received independent legal advice, and there having been full disclosure of relevant financial information. It would also need to be clear that both of their financial needs, and any financial responsibilities towards their children, have been met.

Whether these proposals become law though is still dependent on the parliamentary timetable and whether there is a willingness on the part of the government to take them forward.

Until that time, family solicitors can continue to ensure, as far as possible, that pre-nuptial agreements will be persuasive to the Court if they have to become involved in resolving financial matters between spouses at the time of divorce, and couples should not hesitate to seek the appropriate advice if they feel this would be necessary in their circumstances.

Please feel free to contact a member of our team in the Family Department for further information on 01392 258451 or by email at
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or to arrange an appointment to discuss matters further.