November 1, 2010
Since the U.S. owes British courts for the much of its common law, it is refreshing to see the British take a page from our book. For better – or for worse – it appears that a common American legal tool is gaining in importance in British courts – The Pre-Nuptial Agreement.
According to the New York Times:
A ruling by the Supreme Court here on Wednesday gave pre-nuptial agreements more weight in divorce case, bringing British law closer in line with that in the United States… The discretion of courts in Britan to decide on a case-by-case basis whether pre-nuptial agreements are binding has contributed to the country a reputation for awarding huge payouts in divorce cases, including recently to the ex-wives of singer Paul McCartney and Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.
This new legal development in British courts, coupled with last week’s article about how more American women are securing pre-nups prior to their wedding date piqued my interest.
Searching in the Family Law Forms on WestlawNext for the phrase “Pre-nuptial agreement” brings back close to 200 results. Many of the results clauses to insert into pre-nup agreements while many others results are themselves entire agreements.