Legal status of pre-nuptial agreements
Pre-nuptial agreements are not enforceable or strictly binding in the law of England and Wales, but if the pre-nuptial agreement has been entered into freely by both parties, with a full understanding of the implications of the agreement, with all information that is relevant, the family court should give effect to the agreement, unless in all the circumstances it would be unfair to hold the parties to the agreement or it could prejudice the reasonable requirements of any child of the family.
The court will consider the pre-nuptial agreement with the section 25 factors under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, which are the factors that a judge will consider when determining how to divide assets in a financial claim on divorce. No pre-nuptial agreement can oust the legislation or fetter the judge's discretion on determining the division of assets in a financial claim on divorce. A clause in a pre-nuptial agreement that try to fetter this discretion or prevent a party from applying to the court for financial provision would be invalid.