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Prenuptial Agreements and the Presumption of Free Choice

Issues of Power in Theory and Practice

By: Sharon Thompson
Media of Prenuptial Agreements and the Presumption of Free Choice
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Published: 26-10-2017
Format: Paperback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 248
ISBN: 9781509917747
Imprint: Hart Publishing
RRP: £27.99
 

: 14 -21 days

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Loren Epson

About Prenuptial Agreements and the Presumption of Free Choice

This book provides an alternative perspective on an issue fraught with difficulty – the enforcement of prenuptial agreements. Such agreements are enforced because the law acknowledges the rights of spouses to make autonomous decisions about the division of their property on divorce. Yet this book demonstrates that, in the attempt to promote autonomy, other issues, such as imbalance of power between the parties, become obscured.

This book offers an academic and practical analysis of the real impact of prenuptial agreements on the relationships of those involved. Using a feminist and contractual theoretical framework, it attempts to produce a more nuanced understanding of the autonomy exercised by parties entering into prenuptial agreements. This book also draws on an empirical study of the experiences and views of practitioners skilled in the formation and litigation of prenuptial agreements in New York. Lastly, it explores how the court might address concerns regarding power and autonomy during the drafting and enforcement processes of prenuptial agreements, which in turn may enhance the role that 'prenups' can play in the judicial allocation of spousal property on the breakdown of marriage.

Table Of Contents

1. Radmacher v Granatino and the 'New Respect' for Autonomy
2. The Developing Landscape of Financial Provision on Divorce
3. Attorneys ' Experiences of Prenuptial Agreements in New York
4. Remedies in Contract for Prenuptial Agreements
5. Towards a Feminist Relational Contract Theory of Prenuptial Agreements
6. Prenuptial Agreements and the Presumption of Free Choice - Connecting Theory and Practice
Conclusion

Reviews

“Sharon Thompson's book is a fascinating and timely critical analysis which explores the contested legal space relating to enforceable pre-nuptial agreements in England & Wales and Northern Ireland in the all-important frame of the underpinning power structures which surround them. Examining and challenging the law governing such agreements through the lenses of contractual and feminist theories, her original empirical research into the longer experience of the operation of this area of law in New York, adds a unique practical and comparative dimension to this rich book.” –  Professor Anne Barlow, University of Exeter,

“During my time at the Law Commission I spent a lot of time thinking and writing about pre-nuptial agreements, and became very conscious of the need for robust research on this important subject. Dr Thompson's book, with its wealth of data and analysis, is a most welcome publication.” –  Professor Elizabeth Cooke, University of Reading,

“Comprehensively researched, beautifully written, this book demonstrates with conclusive clarity how prenuptial agreements benefit the richer party to a marriage, to the disadvantage of the poorer, and thus threaten the protective function of English family law.” –  Professor Rosemary Auchmuty, University of Reading,

“Sharon Thompson's Prenuptial Agreements and the Presumption of Free Choice is an excellent addition to our collective understanding of the complex issues of policy and practice surrounding prenups.” –  Rob George, Cambridge Law Journal

“This book provides lawyers, non-lawyers and law makers with a wealth of material and data to better secure a fairer outcome for both parties entering a pre-nuptial agreements. I recommend it.” –  Ashley Murray Chambers, Family Law

“Using a feminist and contractual theoretical framework, and drawing on an empirical study of the experiences and views of practitioners skilled in the formation and litigation of prenuptial agreements in New York, Thompson seeks to provide a nuanced understanding of the autonomy exercised by parties entering into prenuptial agreements.” –  Law and Social Inquiry

“Building upon comparative law insights, it is very much hoped that Thompson's detailed contribution will prompt a re-conceptualisation of autonomy in this specific context and that the use of judicial discretion may exhibit a greater sensitivity to exercises of gendered power.” –  Andy Hayward, Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law

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