Posted on 12th March 2009

Prenuptial Agreements Can Ease Divorce Heartache

The status of prenuptial agreements has received an important boost, according to Judith Middleton, partner and family lawyer at law firm Latimer Hinks.

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 husbands fortune, thanks to the prenuptial agreement she had signed before the marriage.

Judith said: This appears to be the result of the fact that judges are taking properly drawn-up agreements more seriously, making the decisions they contain more likely to be upheld than in the past.

The process of enforcing a so-called prenup is also becoming easier than it used to be.

Judith explained: In the past this could be a complex and costly affair that might take weeks, with no assurance that it would be upheld. Now, though, following this case, it can be streamlined into a simple one-day hearing where the prenup is the central focus.

While protecting wealth by asking ones partner to sign an agreement in case their marriage goes wrong is hardly the most romantic request, it can prove to be an effective way of confirming how a couples assets should be divided following a break-up.

Judith added: It is a reality that divorce is more common and marriages are shorter than in the past.

Marital breakdown is already painful and stressful enough, without the added uncertainty that a serious financial dispute can bring with it, so the prenup is often a sensible and practical means of avoiding further heartache.