The Law Commission’s report “Matrimonial Property Needs and Agreement”, which includes a draft bill for Parliament, has recommended that pre-nuptial agreements be made legally binding.
The report follows the landmark Supreme Court decision in Radmacher versus Granatino in which it was pronounced that pre-nuptial agreements were likely to be upheld if not unfair. This suggests that, subject to judicial scrutiny as to fairness of terms, pre-nuptial agreements are likely to be upheld. This should pave the way for greater financial control and security for divorcing couples. Binding agreements should also restrict excessive legal costs and avoid exposing couples and their families to the stress of burdensome litigation.
Although future financial circumstances are hard to predict when marrying, it is important that in signing the pre-nuptial agreements that the parties realise they will be bound by it in the future.
At present approximately 42% of married couples in England and Wales divorce and therefore the necessity for pre-nuptial agreements would appear to be obvious in many cases.