Skip to content

Will a Prenup hold up in court?

I think I signed a pre-nup before I got married, will this impact on the settlement?

It depends - the "sticking power" of one of these agreements is highly fact-specific. In broad terms, however, since the Supreme Court's 2010 landmark decision in the case of Radmacher v Granatino, the Court is likely to give effect to a pre-nup or post-nup if the following requirements are met: 

  1. There is an absence of pressure on either spouse. In the case of a pre-nup, it is best practice to sign the agreement no less than 28 days before the wedding to avoid any suggestion of last-minute pressure.
  1. Both parties must understand the nature and effect of the document. This requirement is usually satisfied by each party taking their own independent specialist legal advice and each party giving the other financial disclosure prior to the agreement being made.
  1. The agreement must be considered fair to both parties in the circumstances existing at the time of divorce.

The measure of what is "fair" is potentially fraught with difficulty and will differ greatly from one case to the next. An agreement will be deemed to be fair if it meets the "reasonable needs" of the financially weaker spouse, and reasonable needs are determined by reference to the standard of living enjoyed in the latter years of the marriage. It may well be, therefore, that what seemed fair at the outset of the marriage when the agreement was made is no longer deemed fair by the time of divorce.

We acted for the wife in the reported High Court case of KA v MA and successfully argued that it would be grossly unfair to hold her to the terms of the pre-nup she and her husband had signed 10 years previously. With our assistance and expertise in this area, our client was able to secure an award that was far in excess of the provision that the pre-nup purported to make for her.

If you find yourself in a position where you are facing the prospect of divorce and you have signed a pre-nup or a post-nup, you should seek specialist legal advice as to the interpretation and likely effect of the agreement as early as possible. Please click here for more information about our Family Law services.

 

 

How to find us:
London Bankside

Bankside Office

240 Blackfriars Road
London
SE1 8NW
DX 53 Chancery Lane

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7629 7411
Fax: +44 (0)20 7629 2621
Email: bh@boodlehatfield.com

London Mayfair

Mayfair Office

6 Grosvenor Street
London
W1K 4PZ

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7629 7411
Fax: +44 (0)20 7629 2621
Email: bh@boodlehatfield.com

Oxford

Oxford Office

6 Worcester Street
Oxford
OX1 2BX

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7629 7411
Fax: +44 (0)20 7629 2621
Email: bh@boodlehatfield.com

Bankside Office

240 Blackfriars Road
London
SE1 8NW
DX 53 Chancery Lane

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7629 7411
Fax: +44 (0)20 7629 2621
Email: bh@boodlehatfield.com

Get directions

Contact us