Prenuptial agreements may become legally binding

Couples drawing up prenuptial agreements could be legally required to abide by them under new proposals being examined by the Law Commission.

At present, prenup agreements - while they do hold some weight in court - are not legally binding. But the law reform body is now looking at whether they should be given legal status.

It will examine the circumstances in which courts should uphold prenuptial contracts, which set out how property and other assets should be divided in the event of a divorce.

Ann Ison, a partner with Hughes Fowler Carruthers, told the Times: "Courts in the last year paid more attention to prenups and the lack of such agreement in other cases spawned long and bitter battles."

The Law Commission aims to draw up a draft parliamentary bill on pre-nuptial agreements and the division of assets by 2012.

Meanwhile draft legislation aimed at giving unmarried cohabiting couples similar financial rights to husbands and wives is also under consideration.

Published on: July 17, 2008

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