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Fairness, freedom and foreign elements – marital agreements in England and Wales after Radmacher v Granatino [2011] CFLQ 513

Date:18 JUN 2012

The Supreme Court's long-awaited decision in Radmacher (Formerly Granatino) v Granatino [2010] UKSC 42, [2011] 1 FLR 1851 has been criticised by some as a blow against the status and significance of marriage. By contrast, this article argues that the decision strikes a reasonable balance between paternalism and party autonomy and, if applied properly, does not jeopardise the protection of the weaker spouse and the children. Furthermore, it is perfectly in line with developments in Europe (and indeed Western jurisdictions around the world). The remaining uncertainty, criticised by others, is actually necessary, unavoidable and even desirable in an ancillary relief system which generally leaves the financial remedies in case of divorce to the discretion of the courts.

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