The Law Commission 's Report

Decent Essays

The Law Commission’s Report has proposed that there should be legislative reform to create nuptial agreements that are in a prescribed form and adhere to certain safeguards, legally binding. A nuptial agreement that meets the criteria is called a ‘qualifying ' nuptial agreement and would allow married couples and civil partners to make an agreement as to how their assets should be divided when they to separate. The court will be prevented from making orders inconsistent with the terms of the qualifying nuptial agreement as long as they meet the parties needs and is in the interest of a child of the family. Professor Elizabeth Cooke identified that ‘qualifying nuptial agreements would give couples autonomy and control, and make the financial outcome of separation more predictable’. However, ‘safeguards have been built to ensure that they cannot be used to impose hardship on either party, nor to escape responsibility for children or to burden the state ’. It cannot be used to enable one or both parties to contract out of their responsibility to meet each other’s financial needs. In the event that any arrangements made in the agreement for either party’s living arrangements (whether income, housing or otherwise) proves to be inadequate, the door to the court would remain open; only enabling orders to be made to ensure financial needs are met. However, the other elements of the agreement would remain binding, including any agreement not to share property beyond that

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