English Prenuptial Agreements

Posted by Jeremy Morley | Nov 14, 2008 | 0 Comments

A critical case on English prenuptial law is currently being heard by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, which is the highest appeals court for UK overseas territories including the Isle of Man, where the parties live.

The current state of the law in England is that prenuptial agreements are considered as just one factor in determining a resolution of the financial claims of divorcing parties. The Law Lords in the pending case might decide to give prenuptial full legal recognition, thereby bringing England into line with most of the rest of the world.

The last time the Law Lords looked at the issue was in 1929, when they ruled that binding prenuptial contracts would contravene public policy. Obviously the world has changed dramatically since that time.

It is possible that the court will prefer to leave the issue to Parliament. The English Law Commission is currently consulting on the issue but its recommendations are unlikely to be issued until 2012.

Stay tuned for further developments.

Disclosure: I am advising the husband in this case.

About the Author

Jeremy Morley

Jeremy D. Morley was admitted to the New York Bar in 1975 and concentrates on international family law. His firm works with clients around the world from its New York office, with a global network of local counsel. Mr. Morley is the author of "International Family Law Practice,...


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