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Court Upholds Pre-Nuptual Agreement













When the marriage of a wealthy couple broke up, the English court had to consider the impact of two pre-nuptial agreements the couple had made before they wed.


The Swedish couple married in 2000 and separated in 2015. They had lived in the UK since 2011, so their divorce was dealt with under English law.When their divorce was made final in 2016, their joint assets were worth £10 million.


However, they had entered into pre-nuptial agreements in 2000, under which the wife agreed to waive entitlement to any capital payment from the husband in the event that their marriage was dissolved. She argued that the agreements were entered into as a result of the husband's misrepresentation and also that they were so unfair that the court should decline to enforce them.


However, evidence was given that before she signed the agreements, she had taken independent legal advice.


In a case that contained many complexities, the judge concluded that 'the parties did consensually enter into one or more pre-nuptial agreements and that, at the time when they were entered into, the effect of the agreement or agreements was not vitiated by factors such as fraud, misrepresentation or undue pressure'.


The settlement ordered was one dealing with maintenance of the ex-wife and two children, giving the wife £2 million from the proceeds of the sale of the matrimonial home in order to provide a home for the family until 12 months after the eldest of their children ceases full-time education. In addition, the ex-wife was awarded annual maintenance of £95,000 per year.


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