prenuptial agreements in England and Wales


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Latest cases and developments

Here you will find recent cases and developments about prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements and other marital agreements, which we hope will be of interest to you.

What happened when judge found prenup valid but unfair?

Prenuptial agreements found to be valid but unfair to wife – the judge held the court should therefore step in to alleviate the unfairness and award provision to meet the financial needs of the wife and children out of the husband’s separate assets (but was unable to do so in this case)  

Facts: A Swedish couple started living together in 1994 and married in 2000. The husband had worked as a sportsman and had achieved very considerable success in the US until 2003, when he was involved in a very serious accident. He suffered life-threatening injuries and the accident brought an end to his sports career.

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Bill seeks to make prenups legally enforceable

Private Member’s Bill in the House of Lords seeks to make prenuptial agreements legally enforceable.

A crossbench Private Member’s Bill, the Divorce (Financial Provision) Bill, was introduced by Baroness Deech in the House of Lords and received its first reading on 26 May 2016.

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Court upholds £2.7m award to ex-wife of Lambretta millionaire

£2.7 million awarded to ex-wife of Lambretta millionaire 11 years after separation upheld on appeal, despite her delay and an alleged agreement between the couple settling their financial affairs.

Glenn and Nicola Briers married in 1984 and had three children, all now adults. They were both teachers. In 1988 Glenn Briers started a sports and streetwear business, initially operating from the garage in the former family home in the West Midlands, with start-up funds of just £81. He incorporated the business that same year, the 100 company shares being divided 99:1 between himself and his wife. In 1990 he left teaching, to concentrate on the business full-time. Nicola Briers continued to work as a teacher, helped in the business and looked after their three children.

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Prenups in court: will they be upheld?

The landmark case of Radmacher v Granatino, decided by the Court of Appeal in 2009 and upheld by the Supreme Court (the most important court in the land) in 2010, represented a significant development in the law on prenuptial agreements. It remains the most important decision concerning prenuptial agreements in England and Wales.

In that case, which involved an eight-year marriage between a German heiress wife and her French husband, which had produced two daughters, the husband received a £2.5 million housing award which reverted to his wife when their two children had both completed university education, money to clear his debts and buy a car, plus a lump sum to provide him with income until their youngest child reached the age of 22. The wife was worth about £100 million but the husband, who had previously worked in the financial sector, had given up his career to become an academic and had no capital of his own.

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