Pre-nuptial agreements- to bind or not to bind?
Divorce seems to be moving away from the blame game, but where do we stand with pre-nups?
Pre-nuptial agreement enquiries have risen by as much as 70 per cent over the past decade. For some, pre-nups create a pre-marriage safety net over their assets whereas for others it helps solidify their love for one another.
There is this mis-conception (and I’m not sure if people mix foreign laws and US movies) but traditionally in England and Wales, pre-nuptial agreements were completely unenforceable. However, thankfully in 2010 the Court accepted some agreements to be binding on certain terms such as, if they were freely entered into by each party. This raised eyebrows as to the future of how much weight pre-nups hold and whether it is worth having one at all!
For example, more recently, a case was upheld where the court decided to ignore a pre-nup and award a financial remedy in favour of the husband. This was despite the wife being a millionaire and the agreement being heavily in her favour (unlucky for her).
On the facts of the case it was wholly unfair to hold the husband to the agreement as they had been married for 14 years, it wouldn’t have met the needs of the husband and he didn’t quite understand the implications of the pre-nup.
So pre-nups are certainly not binding contracts and considered on the grounds of fairness along with all of the circumstances. So whatever your reason for entering a pre-nup let us give you a helping hand.
P.S I bet the CEO of Amazon wishes he had one – or did he?
Kleyman & Co Solicitors. The full service law firm. Eat your heart out.