Silly Cheryl: Allegedly no Pre-Nup!

Silly Cheryl: Allegedly no Pre-Nup!

13th December 2015

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini is worth around £20 million and yet she allegedly did not have a prenuptial agreement before marrying Jean-Bernard. Now she has issued divorce proceedings, she is going to really wish she had one in place.

Prenuptial agreements can provide a measure of certainty and the means of protecting pre-marriage assets, inheritance, and existing family commitments such as children from a previous marriage.

 

Legally, once married all of these assets become matrimonial assets and, unless specifically protected, are thrown into a single financial pot. The primary purpose of a “pre-nup” will frequently be to limit the potential claims on the wealth of one of the parties to the marriage.

 

We advise that if you fall into one of the following, you need a prenuptial agreement:

  • I am thinking of getting married and want to protect my property
  • I am about to marry for the second time and want to limit any potential claims on the settlement I received from my first marriage if things turn sour.
  • I am a widower thinking of marrying again. I want to protect my assets.
  • I am about to marry but worry that if things go wrong we could end up in a costly and lengthy argument about “who gets what”
  • I am about to marry for the second time but want to protect my assets to ensure I have something to leave in my will to the children from my first marriage if my new relationship breaks down.

 

How do I get a prenuptial agreement?

  • Agree terms and sign the agreement well in advance of the marriage.
  • Take independent legal advice-one party cannot argue undue influence/pressure then
  • Have full disclosure of each parties’ finances
  • Have clear defined terms.
  • Consider any change in circumstances which need to be accounted for in the future
  • Consider reviewing this agreement periodically?

 

Will a prenuptial agreement stand up in Court?

At present a prenuptial agreement does not carry the same weight as a Court order. However Courts take them seriously, as a prenuptial agreement is evidence of your intentions to one another in the event of your relationship breakdown and one of the factors that a court may take into account when looking at all the circumstances of your case.

 

The Court will carefully consider things like:

  • Did the party with the most to lose understand the nature of the prenuptial agreement?
  • Did he/she have independent legal advice?
  • Was he/she under pressure to sign?
  • Was there full financial disclosure?
  • Would an injustice be done if the prenuptial agreement were upheld?

 

Therefore, please do not make the same mistake as Cheryl, and call us on 02476 531532 where we would be happy to assist with completing your prenuptial agreement.

Melanie Timms
Family solicitor