Prenuptial agreements have not been recognized in English courts for more than 150 years - throughout the modern era in which divorce settlements have been a matter for civil law.
The refusal of the courts to recognize prenups has been based on the principle that couples have a duty to stay together and marriage is for life.
However, yesterday the Appeal Court declared the traditional thinking 'unrealistic' and out-of-date.
The Court established a change in the law. The judgment said that a large part of the Court's reasoning is that a person who is already divorced should have the chance to marry again, without jeopardizing his or her separate wealth and for the sake of children born of the first marriage.
The ruling recognizing the validity of the pre-nup agreement saves a German heiress named Katrin Radmacher from losing 5 million pounds to her ex-husband.
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