Prenups allow couples to choose the sort of marriage they want

By Lenore Rice

A Supreme Court Justice has spoken of his support for binging pre-nuptial agreements, saying that couples "should be allowed to elect the sort of marriage which they want."

Lord Wilson of Culworth was a member of the Court of Appeal that heard the divorce case of Radmacher v Granatino in 2009, and which ultimately decided that Mr Granatino should be bound by the pre-nuptial agreement he entered prior to his marriage. It was considered a landmark case that went a long way to increasing the validity of pre-nuptial agreements in the UK. Speaking to the University of Bristol Law Club, he said that he wondered if it was "too patronising" for courts to take the view that adults should not be bound by a contract they entered into, because the courts have a differing view "about the extent of their obligations on divorce".

Lord Wilson did emphasise the need for parties to act "with appropriate care and understanding" when it came to prenuptial agreements, and said that the courts did have the power to invalidate the contract "if it would not be "fair" to hold a party to it." He did however say that the interpretation of fairness in such circumstances was complex, as it wouldn't be 'unfair' simply because the contract provides the spouse with less than they would have got under the application of the ordinary law.

If you would like to speak to a matrimonial law solicitor specialising in prenuptial agreements and divorce in Northern Ireland, contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast or Bangor by clicking here.