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An increasing number of couples are entering into Nuptial Agreements in contemplation of, or during their marriage. These govern the ownership of property and chattels in the event of their separation. If the parties who have made such agreements decide to live apart they should be entitled to enforce their agreement.
However, such an agreement is not legally binding and would not prevent one party from arguing that they should not be held to the terms of the agreement. Having said that such agreements are taken into consideration during court proceedings.
In recent years, the courts have been willing to place an increasing amount of weight on such agreements, provided certain safeguards are met. For an agreement to carry weight, both parties must enter into it of their own free will, without undue influence or pressure, have been informed of its implications and must have sought independent legal advice.Both parties should have provided the other with full details of their financial situation.
These agreements may not be upheld if the circumstances of the parties have changed considerably.
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