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Can Pre-Nuptial Agreements Set Out Rules for Partners Behaviour?

Los Angeles couple Ruby Rose & Phoebe Dahl are featured in various showbiz columns this week after Ruby took to Instagram to unveil that she had discovered that her fiancée keeps preserved animals' hearts in their American home; with the tag line #willstillmarryherbutweneedtotalk

Luckily for Phoebe, it seems the unusual collection hasn’t put her partner off marriage, but it is amazing how often habits and hobbies can be what brings a relationship to an end, whether before or after the marriage.

As Divorce Solicitors we represent many people who have finally reached the point that they cannot put up with a certain form of behaviour any longer. Sometimes it's a long standing habit, which has finally become too annoying to bare. Other times it's the recent discovery of a habit or hobby that the spouse objects to.
 
It's not unusual, particularly in the United States, for Pre-Nuptial Agreements, or pre-nups, to include clauses dealing with behaviour, and to set out what is ‘compulsory’ and/or ‘forbidden’ within the marriage. Sometimes breach of Pre-Nuptial Agreement clauses is linked to financial penalties in the event the marriage fails. Whilst some people would consider such clauses bizarre, they do have the benefit of helping people in a marriage to consider their expectations, and to address any differences before they turn into causes of conflict.
 
As we have explained in previous blogs about divorce, unreasonable behaviour is the most commonly cited cause of marriage breakdown in divorce proceedings, and covers a vast range of behaviour; preserving organs of dead animals included! However, as well as detailing the behaviour which has lead to them leaving, divorce petitioners must also explain, briefly, the effect the behaviour had upon them and why they can no longer tolerate it.
 
It's not necessary to outline every problem and issue which has arisen in the marriage, and as a general rule, the particulars in the divorce petition should be kept succinct, and limited to the main examples. Once the minimum level required to satisfy a Judge that the marriage is over has been passed, there is no benefit to more information being added; and it often achieves nothing more than increasing tension and acrimony.
 
Cara Nuttall is a Family Law & Divorce Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Manchester.

Slater and Gordon offer flexible pricing and fixed fees for all family law legal services. For a free initial 30 minute consultation with a Family Lawyer call freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online

Slater and Gordon have over 1,200 staff and offices in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Bristol, Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Cambridge, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Halifax, Wakefield & meeting rooms in Bramhall, Cheshire.

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