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FT: pre-nuptials



“Big divorce payouts spur pre-nuptials”
By Michael Peel,Legal Correspondent
Financial Times: Published: June 11 2007 03:00 | Last updated: June 11 2007 03:00
Last month,(UK) judges called for a review of divorce laws, and the status of pre-nuptial deals, after they upheld a £48m award to the ex-wife of the insurance magnate John Charman – the biggest contested divorce payout in English legal history.
Had seen a threefold rise this year in demand for pre-nuptial agreements as rich people worried about how the “glass ceiling for big money awards” had been shattered by the courts.
That mattered legally because a landmark House of Lords ruling last year, known as Miller-McFarlane, said the fruits of a marriage should be shared equally unless there was good reason for this not to happen.
Pre-nuptial agreements are not binding under English law, meaning that judges use their discretion when deciding how much weight to give them. Tests include whether the contract was fair, whether the spouses made full financial disclosures, and whether each partner had access to independent legal advice.

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