Landmark Decision Pre-nuptial Agreements/ New Law

7th July 2009
Landmark Decision Pre-nuptial Agreements/ New Law image

Landmark Decision – Pre-nuptial Agreements – New L

Prenuptial contracts are agreements couples enter into before marriage in an attempt to agree how assets should be divided in the event of their divorce. Strictly speaking such contracts are not absolutely enforceable in English Law

However, in a landmark decision yesterday (02.07.09) the Court of Appeal rewrote the divorce laws to give resounding backing to prenuptial contracts. Lord Justice Thorpe said that any rule that prenuptial contracts are void seemed to be ‘increasingly unrealistic’

This decision effectively reverses the law to date which dictates that on a divorce, the court has ultimate jurisdiction to divide the assets of the marriage as it sees fit according to what is reasonable in the circumstances of each individual case. This meant that a court could ignore a prenuptial contract entered into by the couple before the marriage in which they agreed ‘who should have what’ in the event of their divorce. There has been no guarantee to date therefore that a court would enforce the terms of a prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial agreements that have been successfully enforced to date have usually been in cases where the marriage survives for only a short period of time and where there are no children. This latest case however suggests that couples may now stand a better chance of agreeing how their assets should be divided  in the event of divorce to create greater certainty for both parties.

Only time will tell whether the decision will be overturned by the House of Lords or whether the courts will, in the future, seek to limit the circumstances in which such agreements are binding but clearly there appears to have been something of a sea change in the attitude of the courts in this area.

For more information contact Anita Toal of our Family Team


Maples supports Alzheimer's Society's Cupcake Day image

Maples supports Alzheimer's Society's Cupcake Day

On 14th June 2018 Maples Solicitors LLP are pleased to be taking part in the Alzheimer’s Society’s Cupcake Day.

Tea, coffee and cupcakes will be served from 10:00am until 12:00pm and all donations received will go to the Alzheimer’s Society to help fight dementia and create a lasting change for all those affected by it.

At the same time, Maples will also be running a free Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Care Home Planning clinic so that whilst you are in the office you may take the opportunity to discuss any of these with one of the Private Client Team with no obligation to commit. You can use the time to raise any questions you may have about making a Will, who you could appoint as Executors, whether you need a Power of Attorney, how a Power of Attorney works, or how you can plan for possible Care Home fees, for example.

Maples hope to see their existing clients join them for the coffee morning and very much look forward to meeting new people- everyone is welcome!

If you would like to discuss any matters in relation to Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney or Care Home Planning related matters prior to the coffee morning then please contact one of the lawyers in our private client team:-

Jane Mawer- jane.mawer@maplessolicitors.com
Jamie Dobbs- jamie.dobbs@maplessolicitors.com
Faye Blair- faye.blair@maplessolcitors.com

Or telephone the office on 01775 722261 and ask to speak with one of the team.

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Over the last forty years I have cause to deal with many law firms both in a personal and professional capacity, including some ‘top’ London Companies. In all of those dealings I have never found anyone as proactive and so willing to offer help and advice as Jamie Dobbs. During the last two years Jamie guided my parents through the completion of Lasting Powers of Attorney. Helped myself with the use of the LPA and recently dealing with Probate and Estate Administration following their death.

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