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Pre-nuptial agreements – the first anniversary

The judgement in the landmark case of Radmacher and Grantino is but a year old. Whilst the case did not establish an outright presumption that all pre and post nuptial agreements are binding, it did establish that in certain circumstances such agreements will be upheld in the Courts of England and Wales.
So what factors determine whether or not an agreement will be upheld?
A three stage test is to be applied when considering the weight which should be given to a pre or post-nuptial agreement, namely:
Upon entering into the agreement, were there any circumstances which should reduce the binding nature of the agreement ie lack of financial disclosure, lack of legal advice?
Were there circumstances which enhance the binding nature of the agreement?
Thirdly, is the agreement ‘fair’? In considering this, the Court will consider the parties’ needs (and those of any children) and ‘compensation’ in deciding whether or not the agreement will be binding.
Since the Judgment, divorce specialists James Maguire & Co have experienced a rise in the number of people seeking advice regarding entering into a pre or post nuptial agreement. This is on the basis that as far as possible they wish to impart some certainty as to the division of assets in case of divorce or as a way of safeguarding a particular asset ie pre-acquired wealth or inheritance. This is particularly relevant in today’s uncertain economic climate.
If you are considering entering into a pre or post-nuptial agreement and would like advice on the merits of doing so, please contact a member of the James Maguire & Co. family law team who would be happy to assist you.
Maguire Family Law is a specialist firm of Family Law and Divorce law solicitors based in Wilmslow, Cheshire. We offer legal advice to parties going through a divorce including the financial issues which flow from this (including pensions), linked business issues, international aspects and any relevant issues concerning the children.

For specialist advice on any family law related issue contact Maguire Family Law by email: or telephone:

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