Marital and civil partnership agreements—international aspects
Marital and civil partnership agreements—international aspects

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

  • Marital and civil partnership agreements—international aspects
  • Initial considerations
  • Radmacher and the ‘foreign element’
  • Potential issues
  • Jurisdiction clauses

Marital and civil partnership agreements—international aspects

This Practice Note provides guidance on specific considerations in relation to marital or civil partnership agreements where the parties have international connections or assets. It sets out the steps that should be taken to obtain advice from lawyers in other relevant jurisdictions, the implications of the Supreme Court decision in Radmacher (formerly Granatino) v Granatino in cases with a foreign element and drafting considerations, including jurisdiction clauses.

Initial considerations

The approach to the enforcement and validity of marital and civil partnership agreements varies in different jurisdictions. Jurisdictions where such agreements are enforceable include, for example, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the USA and many European countries. For practical guidance on the approach in England and Wales, see Practice Notes: Implications of pre-nuptial agreements within proceedings for financial provision and Implications of maintenance, separation and post-nuptial agreements within proceedings for financial provision. In England and Wales the agreement must be ‘fair’, and entered into by the parties with ‘a full appreciation of its implications’. In other jurisdictions the approach may be quite different. See also: Radmacher and the ‘foreign element’.

Clear and full instructions from the client will be required, as in all cases, as to the assets and needs of the parties and any children, but also as to all countries with which the parties have a connection, in relation to assets, domicile

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