Can family law agreements be enforced if one partner has a change of heart?

by Kidd Rapinet on October 10, 2022
separated couple

In Family Law you can reach several types of agreement, regarding property, finances and childcare arrangements, including a Prenuptial Agreement (one before marriage), a Postnuptial Agreement (one after marriage), and a Separation Agreement, upon the breakdown of a marriage or civil partnership.

But, what do you do if one spouse/partner has a change of heart and looks to renege on the agreement? If this happens, the spouse/partner looking to enforce the agreement can apply to the court to ensure that the terms are enforced. It is more likely that the court will enforce the agreement if there are in existence, the following elements.

  • The parties were legally advised or had an opportunity to be legally advised and were made aware of this opportunity to do so.
  • There was full financial disclosure.
  • Either or both spouses/partners have acted on the agreement.

Similarly, there can be circumstances that make it easier for the spouse/partner to walk away from the agreement, and not be bound by its terms those being as follows.

  • No opportunity to take legal advice.
  • Undue influence or pressure.
  • Duress.
  • Taking unfair advantage of the other spouse/partner.
  • Fraud.
  • Misrepresentation.
  • Failure to give full financial disclosure.
  • A change in circumstances, but these must have been unforeseen or overlooked.
  • Unfairness.

This publication is a general summary of the law. It should not replace legal advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

This article was brought to you by Kathryn Coyle a family solicitor at Kidd Rapinet Solicitors Maidenhead.  You can speak to Kathryn or any of the family lawyers across our other offices in Aylesbury, Canary Wharf, Farnham, High Wycombe or Slough, using the form provided.  Please use the links provided to find more information on divorce or separation, child arrangements and other areas of family law.

These materials and content have been prepared for the benefit of their viewers/readers. They are intended for marketing purposes only and are of a general nature and do not constitute legal advice applicable to any particular facts or circumstances. Kidd Rapinet LLP and/or the author(s) accept no duty of care, responsibility or liability for any loss or damage which you or any third party may suffer as a result of any reliance or use by you or them of these marketing materials and content, except to the extent it is not legally possible to exclude such liability. If you require legal advice on your own situation, please contact us so we can discuss how we may assist.

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