Protection of Prenuptial Agreements

The media are reporting on the sad separation of Tom Cruise and his wife Katie Holmes, who it is understood has filed for divorce on irreconcilable differences.

The couple has been married for just over five and a half years and a prenuptial agreement was entered into prior to the marriage. The agreement contains a guarantee that would provide Katie Holmes with a yearly sum.  This reflects the position reached with other celebrities including Tiger Woods and his wife who separated in 2010.  There is speculation that Tom Cruise would be prepared to provide an enhanced amount from his assets worth approximately £160 million on the basis that Katie Holmes does not disclose details of their marriage.

Almost two years ago the Supreme Court considered the case of Radmacher v Granatino [2010] UKSC 42, [2011] 1 All ER 373, which has led to an increase in prenuptial agreements being entered into by couples who wish to avoid having to resolve any future problems through divorce.

The courts have dealt with various cases and the overall consensus appears to be that of the parties needs, and the needs of any children, which are a crucial factor in deciding whether the court should uphold the prenuptial agreement.

All the cases are fact-specific and there is consideration given to any assets or wealth accumulated during the marriage, which has not been pre-acquired/owned by either of the parties.   As in all family law matters, independent legal advice and full and frank financial disclosure are regarded as advisable.

The cases are clear that this remains an ongoing developing area of the law, prenuptial agreements continue to assist parties who wish to protect assets, however each case, it appears is dependent upon its own circumstances.  As such it is extremely important that legal advice is sought.

If you require assistance with a premarital agreement or legal advice about any family law problems, please call the family solicitors at Forbes on freephone 0800 037 4628 or contact us by email today.

Gill Carr

About Gill Carr

Gill Carr is an Associate Solicitor within the Family department at Forbes Solicitors. Gill’s blogs cover his specialisms of child protection, acting for both parents and children together with family members. Gill also advises and comments upon forced marriage, divorce, separation, child arrangements and financial matters. Gill writes about current legislation and case law relating to family law.
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