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Since the landmark Supreme Court decision in Radmacher v Granatino [2010] UKSC 42, the family court’s stance on nuptial agreements, covering pre-nuptial, post-nuptial, and separation agreements, has undergone a positive transformation in financial remedy cases.

In a divorce scenario, challenges to nuptial agreements often revolve around four main areas:

  1. lack of legal advice
  2. incomplete disclosure
  3. duress and undue influence
  4. that the agreement doesn’t meet one party’s needs.

Recent judicial reviews, such as Peel J’s examination in HD v WB [2023] EWFC 2, emphasise that while legal advice is desirable, its absence doesn’t automatically invalidate an agreement. Courts assess whether parties entered into the agreement with a clear understanding of its implications.

Similarly, the requirement for full financial disclosure is crucial, but its absence alone may not render an agreement void. Recent cases, such as TRNS v TRNK [2023] EWFC 13, highlight the importance of both parties having complete information before making decisions.

Claims of undue influence face a high threshold for proof, as seen in MN v AN [2023] EWHC 613 (Fam), where the court emphasised the importance of a clear cooling-off period prior to signing the agreement.

Despite the general guideline that agreements should be made at least 28 days before the wedding, courts recognise exceptions, such as the case of HD v WB.

Ultimately, courts assess whether agreements meet Radmacher criteria and operate fairly based on all relevant factors. While challenges may arise, the presumption is that parties will generally be held to the terms of a nuptial agreement unless exceptional circumstances justify otherwise. This evolution signifies a more nuanced and fair approach to nuptial agreements in modern family law.

 

Specialist Legal Advice for Nuptial Agreements

It is important to get specialist legal advice on nuptial agreements to ensure that your intentions in relation to your finances are properly recorded and are fair and reasonable so that the criteria set out in the landmark case (Radmacher v Granatino) are satisfied.

 

Talk To Our Specialists

Our family law solicitors can provide guidance and support in navigating the complexities of both pre and post nuptial agreements. It is always important and highly advisable to seek professional legal advice. Talk to our specialist Family Law team, led by Zubair Dharamsi. You can call Zubair on 0208 972 8820, or email him at zd@roselegal.co.uk

This blog post is not intended to be taken as advice or acted upon. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our team of solicitors.

Meet the team

Zubair, Head of Family, is a specialist in all family law matters. Click the links below to get in touch with him.