Posted on 20th October 2010

Legal Ruling Gives Boost to Pre-nups

Judith Middleton, Partner & Family Lawyer at Latimer HinksFamily law specialists at Latimer Hinks solicitors are encouraging couples to give serious consideration to pre-nuptial agreements, following a ruling in the Supreme Court today (20/10/10).


German paper company heiress Katrin Radmacher saw the president of the Supreme Court, Lord Phillips, rule that the pre-nuptial agreement between herself and ex-husband Nicolas Granatino was binding.


The court said that, in the right cases, agreements could have decisive or compelling weight. However, courts will still have the discretion to waive any pre- or post-nuptial agreement, especially when it is unfair to any children of the marriage.


Judith Middleton, family law specialist at Latimer Hinks, one of Darlington and County Durhams longest established legal practices, said that such agreements are not only for the rich and famous. 


She said: "This ruling gives great strength to pre- or post-nuptial agreements, which have never been binding in England and Wales. 


"These agreements are not just for people with vast wealth that may become bones of contention during a divorce, there are many people who could benefit from the clarity brought by agreeing at an early stage what will happen to certain assets.


"This is particularly the case with people entering into second marriages, or tying the knot later in life who have built up, inherited or been gifted assets during the course of their lives prior to their present relationship.

"In such situations, it is often important that these assets are ring-fenced, often for the benefit of children from prior relationships, or simply because they represent wealth that pre-dates the new spouse.