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Important reforms to Family Law have been announced by the Law Commission which will see fundamental changes in the way people prepare for marriage and what happens when couples separate after marriage.
For some time pre-nuptial agreements (i.e. agreements as to division of assets on separation but made before marriage) have been increasingly popular. Although not binding upon a court provided they meet the necessary criteria they will be looked at seriously by the court. Increasingly the courts are respecting sensible decisions and agreements that couples make for themselves. Now the Law Commission has recommended that the Government recognise this increasing trend and such agreement should become binding agreements and be enforceable in law.
The Law Commission has also suggested the maintenance paid by one partner to another after divorce should not be without a time limit i.e. it should not be a limitless benefit to one spouse and a limitless burden to the other.
We must wait and see what safeguards are required and the necessary rules that will no doubt have to be adhered to. It will as a minimum be necessary for the parties to be independently represented.
Whilst 'pre-nups' have been common internationally they are something culturally which has not been something that the UK felt comfortable with -planning the consequences of separation whilst at the same time planning a marriage till death do us part'. We will keep an eye on developments.
If you want to chat us about pre-nupts or any matters relating to family law please do get in touch.
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