12 July 2010
Pre-nups may become legally binding in UK
Pre-nuptial agreements may become legally binding in Britain, it has emerged.
The Law Commission, which is an independent body created to keep the law under review and to recommend reform where it is required, is expected to propose the change.
Professor Elizabeth Cooke from the organisation said a number of possibilities are being reviewed.
She noted that one option is to recognise the pre-nup and the post-nup.
The expert added: "If the current law is deterring marriage, that isn't good for public policy.
"There is a certain amount of financial carnage when people get divorced. A well drawn-up pre-nup can give greater predictability."
Professor Cooke went on to state that while nothing can take away the pain of divorce, binding financial agreements put in place before a wedding can help make things more certain.
The Law Commission is set to propose a series of options for legally binding pre and post-nup marriage contracts in a consultation to be published within the next fortnight.
Lorraine Harvey, family lawyer at Russell Jones & Walker, commented: "Unfortunately pre-nups are fairly uncommon in this country as they are still not seen as a binding agreement.
"Since the Radmacher case, which called for a change in the Law in this area, I have been instructed by a number of clients to draft a pre-nup not only where the assets are in this country, but where their assets are abroad and they may wish to rely on the agreement in countries outside the UK.
"A change in the law now would hopefully reduce litigation in the event of relationship breakdown."
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