Prenuptial Agreements allow couples to ring fence part of their wealth at the outset of a marriage. These Agreements in many countries are enforceable but in England and Wales they are not. In 2010 the landmark case of Radmacher did see a change in the approach of the Courts. The Court ruled in that case that if the parties entered in to a Prenuptial Agreement freely, were fully informed of all the relevant financial and other information and the implications of entering in to the Agreement, then the Courts could uphold the Prenuptial Agreement.
Since 2010 there has been an increase in the use of Prenuptial Agreements but their is inconsistency in the approach of the Courts depending upon where you live. Now the Law Commission’s proposals for reform look set to finally give prenups the force of Law.
Proposals will mean couples will have the chance to secure legally binding settlements before they marry and thus avoid the litigation which comes on the break down of marriage and which can be so damaging to the couples themselves as well as to any children of the family. Property or gifts brought to the marriage can be ring fenced giving greater protection to those looking to remarry. Proposals also include reform to spousal maintenance, limiting it to a set period of time.