What does the pre-nup case mean for marriage?

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By now you may well have heard about the case of the German heiress, her millionaire French husband and the revolutionary change to laws surrounding marriage and divorce made by the Supreme Court.

The new ruling effectively recognises prenuptial contracts in England and Wales. This particular case was of interest because Katrin Radmacher and her now ex-husband Nicolas Granatino had both agreed that Mr Granatino would make no claim on his wife’s £100 million fortune. But when the couple came to divorce, despite the pre-nup agreement, Mr Granatino asked for £9.2 million and was awarded £5.5 million. That sum was later reduced to £1 million, but Ms Radmacher fought on and the Supreme Court found in her favour – she will now pay him just £70,000 per year for 14 years until their youngest daughter reaches the age of 22.

This ruling means that prenuptial agreements – which effectively agree a divorce settlement before the wedding – will have recognition in England for the first time.

family law

Often viewed as ‘unromantic’, pre-nups are actually becoming ever more popular – and following this case we would expect to see a rise in couples drawing up an agreement before marriage.

You certainly don’t need to be mega-rich to draw up a pre-nup. Perhaps you may have savings, own a property or have a pension pot to protect in the event of a divorce. In the case of second-time marriages, you may want to ensure that your assets are ring fenced for your children from your previous marriage in the event the second marriage ends badly.

Following this landmark ruling – so long as both parties are fully informed of all the relevant financial and other information, and all the implications of the agreement, the courts will now take the pre-nup into consideration if it is deemed to be fair and reasonable in the circumstances.

We think wedding planners should now add pre-nups to the wedding arrangements list.

Perhaps a properly drawn up pre-nup will become the engagement present of the future...

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