Nuptial Agreements - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:59 pm on 25 April 2023.

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Photo of Baroness Shackleton of Belgravia Baroness Shackleton of Belgravia Conservative 2:59, 25 April 2023

My Lords, I am disappointed but not surprised by that response. I declare my interest as practising in this field. It is well known that this is stand-alone legislation which came about as a consequence of a House of Lords decision in Radmacher in 2010. During the coalition, the Law Commission set up a paper and, as a consequence, in 2014 there was a response which is oven-ready for putting on the statute book.

Instead of that happening, with almost indecent haste and despite the warnings, the no-fault divorce law has proceeded through these Houses. We have more people with pre-nuptial agreements and more people getting divorced, and there is no direction for the judges as to how the law has changed as a consequence of these agreements being enforceable. Please can the Minister explain why it is acceptable to delay this legislation, which would be quite simple to push through, in circumstances where the courts are over-burdened, the judges have no direction and lawyers practising in this field have lucrative groundhog days ahead?