Changes to pre-nuptial reforms and financial needs clarity

It is hoped that the Law Commission’s recent recommendations regarding changes to pre-nuptial agreements will provide greater clarity for many married couples on separation.

The report, Matrimonial Property, Needs and Agreements, which was released on February 27th, makes two key recommendations. The first is that ‘qualifying nuptial agreements’ (in particular, the agreements commonly referred to as pre-nups) become enforceable contracts.

The second recommendation is that guidance be produced on the meaning of ‘financial needs,’ so that it is clearer to anyone going through divorce and separation what the financial outcome is likely to be.

Resolution, the Family Law organisation, has welcomed the recommendation to introduce legislation for ‘qualifying nuptial agreements,’ which would make pre-nups (and post-nups, which are becoming more widely used) legally binding – providing they meet specified requirements.

With second marriages on the rise, people marrying later in life, and many couples entering marriage with money and property already to their name, demand for pre-nups has been on the rise, their legal status was far from clear.

Lisa Broddle, Partner at Stone Rowe Brewer and a Family and Collaborative Lawyer and Mediator, welcomes the Law Commission’s recommendations, however, she feels that wider reforms of the law surrounding separation and divorce are needed in order to support separating couples.

If you would like to speak to Lisa about the possible implications of pre-nuptial agreements then please call 020 8891 6141 or e-mail