Pre-nuptial agreements are rarely used in the United Kingdom. The Law Commission commenced a review into Matrimonial Property, Needs and Agreements which is due to be published on 27 February 2014. That review includes consideration of how we currently treat pre-nuptial, post-nuptial and separation agreements what the Commission calls Marital Property Agreements. (See the first link below for further information)
Pre-nuptial agreements can take place before or during a marriage or civil partnership, they seek to regulate the couple’s financial affairs or determine the division of their property in the event of divorce, dissolution or separation.
Pre-Nuptial agreements are currently not enforceable within England and Wales but the courts will have regard to them.
Alison Elmer, Head of our Family Department has commented:
“If as anticipated the Commission make recommendations that pre and post nuptial agreements should be given more recognition in divorce proceedings and should the Government in due course bring legislation forward this reform could significantly change the nature of divorce proceedings and potentially reduce the number of contested hearings.
The commission has had regard to the way in which the agreements are treated in other jurisdictions (see the second link below).
I look forward to reading the full report when it is made available in February.”
This article was researched and drafted by Stephanie Brumpton 3rd year Student at the University of Hull whilst on Work Experience with QualitySolicitors Burton & Co.