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Law Commission to publish consultation on enforceable pre-nups

Date:5 JAN 2011

Prenuptial AgreementThe Law Commission is expected to publish its long-awaited report on prenuptial agreements next week.

The Law Commission first announced that it was going to examine the enforceability of prenuptial agreements in June 2008. It said it was going to examine the status and enforceability of marital property and finance agreements made either before or during the course of marriage or civil partnership.

However it had to delay the publication of its review pending the outcome of the Supreme Court's decision in Radmacher v Granatino, which ruled that prenuptial agreements can be decisive in determining the financial division on divorce.

Marital property agreements are not currently enforceable in the event of divorce or the dissolution of a civil partnership, in contrast to the position in many other jurisdictions.  The court may, however, have regard to them in determining what ancillary relief is appropriate.

Next week the Law Commission team, headed by Professor Elizabeth Cooke of Reading University, is expected to launch a consultation on statutory reform and publish a review of the current law governing the resolution of matrimonial financial disputes on divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership. It will then set out the key arguments for and against reform and ask interested parties to submit their views.