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Today the Law Commission published its long-awaited report on whether pre-nuptial (as well as post-nuptial) agreements should be legally binding. To no-one’s surprise, the report recommends that nuptial agreements, which meet certain criteria (so called ‘qualifying’ nuptial agreements) should be made legally binding.
Firstly, how far does the Law Commission’s report go?
As we explained in our blog post earlier this month, the law as it currently stands means that pre-nups (and post-nups) are increasingly taken into account but there is no guarantee that they will be effective. What the Law Commission recommends is that legislation be introduced to make “qualifying nuptial agreements” binding.
The Law Commission’s arguments in favour of introducing “qualifying nuptial agreements” were:
What are “qualifying nuptial agreements”?
In short, the Law Commission recommends the following conditions for an agreement to be a “qualifying nuptial agreement”:
Where does this leave the public, and the profession?
The recommendations are a big step forward in divorce law reform. However, it is important to note that:
It is important for anyone entering into or considering entering into a pre-nuptial, post-nuptial or separation agreement to take specialist advice in light of these proposals. If you would like to talk through the options for preparing such an agreement, or how these proposals might impact on an agreement already entered into by you and your partner, please contact us. Tricia Ashton
Senior Solicitor (Family Lawyer)