Prenuptial agreements would be recognised in law under soon-to-be-published proposals by the Law Commission, The Times reports.
Couples who plan to marry will be able to create legally binding agreements about precisely how money, property and other assets would be shared or ring-fenced in the event of divorce. Currently, prenuptial agreements have an uncertain legal status in English family courts and are only recognised at the discretion of the judge.
In the much discussed 2010 case of Radmacher v Granatino, the Supreme Court held that courts should give weight to prenuptial agreements “freely” entered into, unless it would be “not be fair” to do so.
According to the Times report, the Law Commission’s report, to be published later this month will include a draft bill which is expected to attract cross-party support. The proposed law will also reportedly include a recommendation that both parties seek legal advice before entering a prenup, and a requirement that parties to such agreements not be left in need following a divorce. Maintenance payments for a limited period only are also probable, the paper claims.
The Commission, an independent organisation which reviews law and makes recommendations for reform, began consultation on the issue of prenuptial agreements in 2011.