Marital and civil partnership agreements—independent legal advice
Marital and civil partnership agreements—independent legal advice

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

  • Marital and civil partnership agreements—independent legal advice
  • Guidance in Radmacher
  • Other case law
  • Providing independent legal advice
  • Recording the receipt of independent legal advice

Prior to the Supreme Court decision in Radmacher (formerly Granatino) v Granatino, independent legal advice was considered a prerequisite before entering into a marital agreement. Since Radmacher there is a focus on whether a party understood the implications of entering into the agreement, albeit the issue of whether they received independent legal advice or not will form part of that consideration.

It was confirmed in Radmacher that whether a party has had the opportunity to take independent legal advice on the terms of a proposed agreement will form part of the considerations as to whether an agreement is ‘fair’. The position was described (at para [69]) as ‘Sound legal advice is obviously desirable, for this will ensure that a party understands the implications of the agreement, and full disclosure of any assets owned by the other party may be necessary to ensure this’. See also: Guidance in Radmacher and Practice Notes: Implications of pre-nuptial agreements within proceedings for financial provision—The impact of Radmacher and Marital and civil partnership agreements—disclosure. It has also been said that cases where a party hasn’t had legal advice, but are considered to have a full appreciation of the implications of an agreement, will be ‘unusual’.

It is notable that the husband in Radmacher had not received independent legal advice, but was considered to be fully aware of the