Monday, 16 March 2009

Thinking of Marriage - avoid stress & heartache - get a prenup!

Pre-nuptials - not terribly romantic but setting up a pre-nup agreement can help to avoid considerable stress and heartache if a marriage were to break down.

In a recent landmark case, a woman who had already accrued some £18 million in divorce settlements from three previous marriages dropped her claim to a share of her fourth husband’s £45 million fortune thanks to the prenuptial agreement she had signed before the marriage.
The prenuptial agreement was signed on 16 November 2005, and its terms recorded that 'neither party should apply to any court in any jurisdiction for any order for financial provision of any kind based on the marriage.”

However, Susan Crossley, after filing for divorce, sought to go against the pre-nuptial agreement by applying for financial relief from her husband. This was challenged by Stuart Crossley but it was argued that he had not disclosed assets that formed the basis of the agreement so there should be formal financial disclosure. The judge agreed with Stuart Crossley, ordering that the documentation for financial disclosure need not be filed.

Stuart Crossley holds on to his £45 million fortune!

Pre-nuptial agreements are not legally binding in the UK but they can be taken into taken account by the court when deciding how to distribute the assets on a divorce.

Judith Middleton, Family Law partner at Latimer Hinks comments on the Crossley v Crossley case

So, to be on the safe side (not the romantic side) a preputial agreement is worth bearing in mind - and it's not just for the rich and famous out there!

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