Implications of pre-nuptial agreements within proceedings for financial provision

The following Family practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Implications of pre-nuptial agreements within proceedings for financial provision
  • What is a pre-nuptial agreement?
  • The impact of Radmacher
  • Law Commission recommendations and Family Justice Council guidance
  • Case law
  • Pre-Radmacher
  • Post-Radmacher
  • Where one party reneges on an agreement

Implications of pre-nuptial agreements within proceedings for financial provision

What is a pre-nuptial agreement?

A pre-nuptial (or pre-civil partnership) agreement is a contract between the parties to an intended marriage or civil partnership that seeks to regulate their affairs in the event that their relationship ends. For the majority, financial arrangements will be the main focus of such agreements, but the parties may also agree in what jurisdiction their divorce or dissolution suit will proceed.

Pre-nuptial agreements are not formally binding in England and Wales, but they have been regarded by the courts as persuasive and even 'decisive' and a pre-nuptial agreement may influence the outcome of an application for a financial remedy, either as part of all the circumstances of the case that the court has a duty to consider, or as conduct it would be inequitable to disregard. Following the Supreme Court decision in Radmacher (formerly Granatino) v Granatino, advice may need to be tempered by the significant weight given to the pre-nuptial agreement in that case and the Supreme Court’s guidance. See: The impact of Radmacher.

For practical guidance on drafting pre-nuptial agreements see Practice Note: Drafting tips—pre-nuptials and Marital or civil partnership agreements—checklist.

The impact of Radmacher

In Radmacher, a pre-nuptial agreement was drawn up in Germany and entered into by a French husband and a German wife of substantial means. The parties were married in

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