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Needs and Matrimonial Property Agreements: A New Perspective Inspired by French Law
Date:4 MAY 2018
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Dr Laure Sauvé, School of Law, University of Essex

Key words: matrimonial property agreements - needs - fairness - autonomy -French law - divorce - maintenance - judge’s discretionary powers


The full version of this article will appear in Child and Family Law Quarterly, Vol 29, No 2

Find out more or request a free 1-week trial of Child and Family Law Quarterly. Please quote: 100482.



By analysing the 2014 Law Commission’s Report, this paper considers the possible reform of matrimonial property agreements, focusing on the difficulties of achieving a balance between the autonomy of the parties and the protection of the ‘vulnerable’ spouse. It identifies a key limitation of the Report as being a lack of clarity regarding the concept of ‘needs’, as ‘needs’ are used as a safety net against binding matrimonial property agreements. It suggests examining the solutions adopted in French law and their possible applicability in England and Wales. It argues that binding matrimonial property agreements should have an impact on the definition of fairness.


This article has been accepted for publication in Child and Family Law Quarterly in Issue 4, Vol 30, Year 2018. The final published version of this article will be published and made publicly available here 24 months after its publication date, under a CC-BY-NC licence.

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