Prenuptial and Tenancy Agreements as Relational Contracts

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This chapter first discusses the problems that arise when applying general principles of contract law to the way in which long-term contracts are regulated and then presents an alternative approach – ‘Relational Contract Theory’ (RCT) – that focuses on the parties’ relationship during the term of the contract. The case study chosen for this purpose examines two social long-term contracts: prenuptial agreements and residential tenancy agreements. I will argue that the three general principles of contract law are ill suited to regulate these types of long-term contracts and that more attention should be paid to the parties’ evolving relationship. This is a more suitable approach, given the RCT’s focus on the parties’ relationship, rather than on the ‘black and white’ letter of the contract itself, which conforms to Point 6 of the European Social Contracts Group Declaration (‘EuSoCo Declaration’), which states that the law “should be able to cope with long-term relational problems of changes in human lives instead of providing only remedies typical of spot contracts.”
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmbedding the principles of life time contracts
Subtitle of host publicationa research agenda for contract law
EditorsLuca Ratti
Place of PublicationUtrecht
PublisherEleven Publishing
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9789462747388
ISBN (Print)9789462367739
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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