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Are they binding?

They aren't binding but they can be very persuasive. Recent cases have shown that in the right circumstances, a pre-nuptial or Civil Partnership Agreement can now have decisive or compelling weight and that respect should be given to individuals wanting to make their own decisions unless it would be unfair to do so. It has effectively shifted the onus to the party wishing to evade it's terms to state why it shouldn't be upheld and it has the potential to affect what a judge might otherwise have felt was fair.

This is particularly so where there is a desire to protect existing or anticipated assets such as inheritance. As such it has the potential to minimise claims and protect valuable assets.

In considering fairness, the court will not allow any prejudice to children and will wish to ensure their reasonable requirements are protected. Needs of the parties are also important and if an agreement left a party in real financial need then the agreement may not be held to or may be modified to cater for those needs, particularly if the other party enjoys a sufficiency or more.

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