Pre-Nups – A Change in the Law?
The Times reports today that the Law Commission has recommended that pre-nuptial agreements will be enshrined in law under plans to reform divorce laws and reduce the number of relationships ending in damaging Court battles.
The Commission is due to publish a report on Matrimonial Property, Needs and Agreements on 27 February 2014 which is the culmination of three years of consultation.
The proposals would enable engaged couples to be able to agree how their assets would be split, should their marriage end by entering into a pre-nuptial agreement. They are increasingly popular in many overseas jurisdictions.
The Commission is likely to propose that :-
1. Maintenance should be for a limited period and not a ‘meal ticket for life’.
2. Couples will be able to ‘ring fence’ property or gifts that they brought to the marriage to avoid them forming matrimonial assets to be divided upon divorce.
Liz Hebden a family solicitor at Walker Foster is of the view is that the proposed report is long overdue and is likely to result in a surge of interest in couples wanting to enter into pre-nuptial agreements, designed to avoid acrimonious legal battles upon a marriage breakdown.
The current law as it stands states that although pre-nuptial agreements are not yet legally enforceable, Judges can take them into account if certain conditions are met.
For advice on pre-nuptial agreements, please contact Liz Hebden on 01756 700200 or [email protected]