Just how binding are Pre-nuptial Agreements in the British Courts? Well a ruling of the High Court on a French ‘pre-nuptial agreement‘ pretty much spells it out.
The case involved a wealthy French couple who married in France in 1994, having entered into a pre-nuptial agreement. The couple moved to London and sometime later got divorced, during which the split of the family assets (which amounted to £15 million) needed to be decided, and that’s where the arguing started. The wife claimed that the pre-nup should be ignored and the assets should be shared equally, with a maintenance agreement for £40,000 per year for each of their three children. The husband argued that the assets should be split according to the terms of the pre-nuptial agreement, with a smaller maintenance payment.
The court ruled that the pre-nuptial agreement should be relied upon and that the assets should be divided so as to give the wife a fund of £2.2 million (sufficient to provide maintenance of £100,000 per annum for life), together with the assets she had introduced to the marriage and an additional sum of approximately £4 million to fund the purchase of a property for her to live in.
Sandra Meakins, a solicitor specialising in Family Law at Kidd Rapinet’s Farnham office comments, “According to the judgement in this case, whilst pre-nups are not strictly binding, the courts will place a lot of reliance on them.”
If you feel you may need advice on a family matter, Kidd Rapinet’s Family Law specialists can advise you. We have extensive experience in drafting and advising on the enforceability of Pre-nuptial Agreements. Call the contact for your local Kidd Rapinet office for further information:
- Aylesbury: Mark Studdart (01296 432541)
- Farnham: Sandra Meakins (01252 713242)
- High Wycombe: Catherine Banks (01494 535321)
- London: Richard Tymkiw (020 7024 8065)
- Maidenhead: Kathryn Coyle (01628 621301)
- Slough: Cyrus Medora (01753 532541)