Leading law firm: Pre-nup agreements on the rise

Controversial pre-nuptial agreements have seen a surge of popularity following the Law Commission’s recent calls for them to be legally binding, according to leading divorce law firm.

Hugh James, a London firm, said the number of general enquiries about pre-nups increased by 50 per cent in the last six months.

Harry Benson of the Marriage Foundation think-tank previously said that legally enforced pre-nups could lead to more divorce, and Simon Calvert of The Christian Institute has said he’s concerned about the “psychological impact” on couples entering a marriage with such an agreement.

Commit

He added: “I think that we should be encouraging people to commit together for life and to commit to giving each other everything, and to commit to working through whatever problems do come up, so they can emerge out the other side and marriage provides a safe place for them to do that”.

In February, the Law Commission – a body which advises the Government on changes to the law – came under fire for putting forward a draft Bill introducing ‘qualifying nuptial agreements’ that are legally binding.

Charlotte Leyshon, Associate at Hugh James says: “Pre-nups were once seen as the preserve of just the super-rich. However, more and more affluent middle class families and professionals are taking steps to protect their own assets or earnings before the big day.”

Guidance

The Law Commission also recommended that the Family Justice Council, an advisory body of representatives from the family justice system, devise guidance which could make it easier for couples to have ‘DIY’ divorces.

Currently couples can make financial agreements before they divorce, but courts do not have to uphold them.

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