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Blog – Robert Rains

by  Caroline J.S. Picart, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief, FJIL

Forthcoming in FJIL Issue 23.3 (December 2011):

Robert Rains’[1] “A Prenup for Prince William and Kate?:  England Inches Toward 20th Century Law of Antenuptial Agreements; How Shall It Enter the 21st?”  begins with an allusion to the extremely popular royal wedding between the newly married Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as  the popular cultural backdrop on the state of English law in relation to prenuptial agreements, which, in Rains’ view, is “uncertain.”  Legal scholars had hoped that the relatively new U.K. Supreme Court would bring “clarity and predictability to the law with its decision in the Radmacher[2] case.”  Indeed, the Radmacher decision, handed down in October 2010, reversed prior precedent that pre-nuptial agreements are contrary to public policy, but “left many basic issues for Parliament to address and resolve.”  Rains’ article aims to do the following:   1.)  “provide background information on the American law of prenuptial agreements as it has evolved since the groundbreaking 1970 Florida Supreme Court decision in Posner[3];” 2.) “explain the English case law and statutory law leading up to Radmacher;” 3.) “examine the Radmacher case and its limitations,” and finally; 4.) “provide suggestions for statutory changes to the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, which could provide greater certainty to marrying couples wishing to settle their financial arrangements, as long as certain safeguards are scrupulously observed.”


[1] Robert Rains is Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Family Law Clinic at the Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law.
[2] Radmacher v. Radmacher, [2010] UKSC 42.
[3] Posner v. Posner, 233 So.2d 381 (Fla. 1970).