Nov 2010 | Pre nuptial agreements - English case of significance

The recent decision in the Radmacher v Granatino case on pre-nuptial agreements is of significant interest to all as a development in the manner in which pre-nuptial agreements are to be viewed by the courts.

In this case the English Supreme Court has confirmed that the English courts will not as such automatically recognise a pre-nuptial agreement (as applies in many other jurisdictions, though not in Ireland) but the English courts will now apply an 'effective test' i. e. give effect to an agreement that is freely entered into by each party with a full appreciation of its implications unless in the circumstances prevailing it would not be fair to hold the parties to their agreement.

It remains to be seen how much weight an Irish court will apply to a pre-nuptial agreement. The practice of making these agreements is increasing particularly in light of the legislation recognising cohabitation agreements introduced in the recent Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010. See further discussion on this here.

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Aileen Keogan | Solicitor & Tax Consultant | 21 The Avenue | Louisa Valley | Leixlip | Co. Kildare | Ireland

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