Their meeting with him lasted for between two and three hours. The husband told Dr Magis that he had seen the draft agreement but that he did not have a translation of it. Dr Magis was angry when he learned of the absence of a translation, which he considered to be important for the purpose of ensuring that the husband had had a proper opportunity to consider its terms. Dr Magis indicated that he was minded to postpone its execution but, when told that the parties were unlikely again to be in Germany prior to the marriage, he was persuaded to continue.
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Dr Magis, speaking English, then took the parties through the terms of the agreement in detail and explained them clearly; but he did not offer a verbatim translation of every line. The parties executed the agreement which bears the date of 4 August, in his presence. By clause 2 the parties agreed that the effects of their marriage in general, as well as in terms of matrimonial property and the law of succession, would be governed by German law.
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Clause 3 provided for separation of property, and the parties stated: Clause 5 provided for the mutual waiver of claims for maintenance of any kind whatsoever following divorce: The notary has given us detailed advice about the right to maintenance between divorced spouses and the consequences of the reciprocal waiver agreed above.
Each of us is aware that there may be significant adverse consequences as a result of the above waiver. The Supreme Court further dismisses the argument of the First Instance Judge, according to which parties had not received independent legal advice, remarking that the Notary had provided sufficient information on the consequences of that agreement. The Court of Appeal differed from the finding of the trial judge that the ante-nuptial agreement was tainted by the circumstances in which it was made.
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Wilson LJ, with whom the other two members of the court agree, dealt with these matters in detail. The judge had found that the husband had lacked independent legal advice.
Wilson LJ held that he had well understood the effect of the agreement, had had the opportunity to take independent advice, but had failed to do so. In these circumstances he could not pray in aid the fact that he had not taken independent legal advice. The judge held that the wife had failed to disclose the approximate value of her assets.
Wilson LJ observed that the husband knew that the wife had substantial wealth and had shown no interest in ascertaining its approximate extent. More significantly, he had made no suggestion that this would have had any effect on his readiness to enter into the agreement. The judge held that the absence of negotiations was a third vitiating factor.
Wilson LJ observed that the judge had given no explanation as to why this was a vitiating factor, and that the absence of negotiations merely reflected the fact that the background of the parties rendered the entry into such an agreement commonplace. We agree with the Court of Appeal that the judge was wrong to find that the ante-nuptial agreement had been tainted in these ways.
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We also agree that it is not apparent that the judge made any significant reduction in her award to reflect the fact of the agreement. In these circumstances, the Court of Appeal was entitled to replace her award with its own assessment, and the issue for this court is whether the Court of Appeal erred in principle. We detect no error of principle on the part of the Court of Appeal.
For these reasons we would dismiss this appeal.
After this benchmark case, the Law Commission,  a statutory independent body that advises on law reform, recommended that prenups should become legally binding subject to stringent qualifications. One requirement should be that at the time of signing both parties must disclose material information about their financial situation and have received legal advice. That key proviso suggests tortuous legal disputes over the fairness of maintenance payments and financial needs would still have to be brought before courts. Past governments have shown reluctance to revise marriage laws.
Legal doctrine has welcomed such recommendations, underlying that qualifying nuptial agreements would give couples autonomy and control, and make the financial outcome of separation more predictable. It has been remarked furthermore that these recommendations represent a welcome stride towards greater autonomy and certainty for couples.
If implemented, then a prenup fulfilling certain conditions will be legally binding. In the meantime, British Courts seem to follow the precedent of Radmacher v Granatino , as it is shown, for instance, by a judgment of ,  in which the Dutch husband contended that the parties were bound by a Dutch pre-marital agreement and the British wife argued for a compensatory payment by virtue of her having given up a high powered career.
The Court upheld the agreement signed in The Netherlands by both parties before a Dutch notary which contained provisions on spousal assets, with exclusion of the immediate community i. On the contrary, the contract provided for the equal sharing of the marital acquest inasmuch as it provided for the joint sharing of surplus joint income. The contract did not provide for what maintenance, if any, should be paid on divorce, in contrast to the German agreement in Granatino.
We saw that at the basis of the rationale of Radmacher v Granatino lays the assumption that, had such a prenup been brought before a court in France or in Germany, it would have been considered as valid and enforceable. The situation is different if we have regard to the antenuptial regulation of alimony maintenance in case of divorce or separation.
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This possibility is excluded in countries such as France or Italy, whereas more and more countries in Continental Europe allow such provisions. This provision has been replaced in  by article of the Codi Civil de Catalunya ,  which now dictates some interesting rules on the way such agreements have to be made and enforced.
Here it is as well interesting to remark that same provisions are available to cohabiting partners, according to article  of the same code. As for Germany,  one should take into account that the contract autonomy of parties has always played a key role, what reflects the thoughts of the greatest German philosophers.
When considering the German legal system we must always keep in mind two main factors. According to this new viewpoint, marriage could be seen just as a contract, which, as any other contract, could be dissolved by mutual consent, with any kind of agreement on such dissolution. As a consequence, German case law and German legal doctrine have always stated that such agreements should be seen as valid and enforceable, also when they foresaw a complete waiver of rights by spouses in case of divorce.
No special control on the contents of such agreements has to take place, on whether the regulation is appropriate. The enforceability of the agreement does not depend on additional conditions, e.
Some changes were brought about by a decision of the Federal Constitutional Court in ,  followed by a decision of the Federal Court of Justice. The judges stated that while, in principle, a contract may state that one of the partners has renounced his or her right to receive alimony, if the agreement is one-sided it would be morally unacceptable and could therefore be challenged.
Also in France, as in any other country of Continental Europe, spouses have the possibility to sign a marriage contract prior or during the marriage. A French marriage contract contrat de mariage deals as in Italy, Spain, Germany etc. A matrimonial regime is a body of rules about the effect of the marriage on the administration, the enjoyment, the disposal of their property by the spouses during the marriage. In French as in Italian, Spanish, Portuguese etc.
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Furthermore, some decisions issued in cases concerning international couples are showing that French judges are not against foreign prenuptial agreements, as it is shown, for instance, by a judgement of the Court of Grasse. Research and Practice, Vol. Theories, hypotheses and empirical support, J Marriage Fam, 55 1: Advocates or Impartial Examiners?
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