Posted on 12th January 2011

Consultation Could Make Pre-nups Legally Binding

Family law specialists at Latimer Hinks Solicitors, one of Darlington and County Durhams longest established law firms, believe people entering into pre-nuptial agreements could soon have the full legal weight of the law behind them.

On the back of a landmark Supreme Court ruling in October, The Law Commission has started a consultation which could see pre-nuptial agreements become legally binding for the first time.

However, while the case of German paper company heiress Katrin Radmacher and her French ex-husband Nicolas Granatino involved millions of pounds, Judith Middleton of Latimer Hinks says such agreements are not only for the rich and famous.

Judith, a family law specialist, said: "The October ruling in the Supreme Court has already strengthened the position of those people who have chosen to take out a pre- or post-nuptial agreement, though they are still not unbreakable.

"However, should the Law Commission consultation take this a step further, it will pave the way for these to become legally binding.

"This isnt just important for people with large amounts of money or hugely valuable assets that may become contested. People entering into second marriages, or marrying later in life, may have assets that have been built up, gifted or inherited that they wish to protect.

"Those in marriages where there are children from prior relationships or wealth pre-dating the new spouse can often benefit from the ring-fencing of certain assets.

"Should such agreements become legally binding, there will be an increased sense of assurance for these people, and I am sure the outcome of the consultation will be of huge interest to many.