Thursday, 21 October 2010


Ever had one of those days when you don’t know whether to laugh or cry and end up doing both anyway? Well yesterday was one of those. First the Chancellor told the nation about the drastic public sector cuts that are going to take place, including 23% at the Ministry of Justice, presumably hitting courts still harder. Then the Supreme Court took the opportunity to confirm that there is indeed a place for pre-nuptial agreements in English law and perhaps the budget cuts and the need to use those hard-pressed court services didn’t seem as bad; well at least there was an alternative. Indeed in the Press Release it issued today, Resolution, which has been campaigning for pre-nuptial agreements to be made enforceable, said:

"This judgment is a major step forward. We know that financial uncertainty is one of the most stressful elements of any divorce, and a pre-nuptial agreement can be a useful tool for couples wishing to reduce this uncertainty.

However, until now the enforceability of pre-nups has been very uncertain because they were seen as contrary to public policy and an attempt to override divorce laws. That principle has been swept away by yesterday’s judgment, which paves the way for these agreements to become more mainstream and less the preserve of the rich and famous.

With second marriages on the rise, people marrying later, and many couples entering marriage with money and property already to their name, it is likely that there will be more and more demand for pre-nuptial agreements. This much-needed judgment clarifies their status and is a victory for fairness and common sense.

The judgment is clear that pre-nuptial agreements are presumed to be enforceable except where they lead to unfair outcomes. Any arguments about unfairness are to be left to the courts to decide.”

1 comment:

Anthony Wright said...

Interesting observations.