Ireland an ‘outlier in Europe’ over prenups

Ireland an 'outlier in Europe' over prenups

Josepha Madigan

Ireland is an “outlier in Europe” because of its failure to give legal recognition to prenuptial agreements, a lawyer and government minister has said.

Josepha Madigan, a qualified solicitor and minister of state for special education, told The Sunday Times that the law should be changed to recognise prenups.

Ms Madigan said: “The courts can consider them. So they can take a prenup as a consideration when looking at how to redistribute a couple’s assets. But they’re not obliged to do so, so it’s not binding.

“I worked as a family lawyer for 20 years and in my experience, judges would take them into account but how much weight they gave them really depends on the circumstances of the case.”

She highlighted that the issue of prenups had previously been examined in 2006, resulting in recommendations that prenups be given statutory recognition, “but that hasn’t happened”.

Ms Madigan added: “I think we’re out of sync with the rest of the world. Divorce has been available in Ireland since 1997. If we can cater for the end of the marriage in our legislation, why then can’t we do the same for prenup?”

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