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Edward Bennett
Edward Bennett
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Ancillary Relief Update: Summer 2010
Date:17 MAY 2010

GRANT HOWELL, Charles Russell LLP, ANDREW NEWBURY, Pannone LLP, Martin Loxley, Irwin Mitchell

Pre-Marital Agreements

The focus here is very much upon the Supreme Court decision on the appeal from the Court of Appeal decision in Radmacher v Granatino [2008] EWCA Civ 1304, [2009] 1 FLR 1566, not published at the time of writing this update. In the meantime, however, it is interesting to note that the decisive weight given to the European agreement in that case did not lead to the same result when another European agreement came up for consideration in F v F [2009] EWHC 2485 (Fam), [2010] 1 FLR (forthcoming). In that case the marriage was in Switzerland and before marriage the spouses went to France to sign a separation of property contract relating to property in France. It was found by the court that this had been entered into purely because it was a requirement of French property law, neither spouse had known the lawyer and they had known nothing of the French Civil Code. Eleanor King J held that these circumstances were fundamentally different to Radmacher. The agreement was purely an administrative inconvenience imposed by the state and it was right not to attach decisive weight to it. F v F serves as a useful reminder that whatever the Supreme Court decision in Radmacher, the fundamental approach in any family law case will still apply. That is that each case needs to be looked at on its own merits.

To read the rest of this article, see June [2010] Family Law journal. To log on to Family Law journal Online or to request a free trial click here.