Post-nups May Offer More Peace Than Pre-Nups For UK Couples: Legal Experts

by Thilaka Ravi on  December 19, 2008 at 4:30 PM Lifestyle News
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Post-nups May Offer More Peace Than Pre-Nups For UK Couples: Legal Experts
After a recent landmark millionaire divorce case judgment, couples in UK would soon be making "post-nuptial" agreements about how to divide their wealth instead of pre-nuptial ones.

Senior judges have ruled that deals drawn up during the course of a marriage can be legally binding.

The Macleod case involves an adulterous wife who was trying to claim 5.6million pounds in a divorce settlement with her businessman husband.

But, during the course of the judgment, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council came close to declaring that pre-nups should have the full force of the law behind them, and claimed that was an issue for the Government.

According to legal experts, the ruling will see many couples deciding how to settle their financial affairs after getting married, through a postnup, as it appears to be fairer than working it out before the wedding in a Hollywood-style pre-nup.

"The Privy Council has deferred the issue of pre-nuptial agreements to Parliament because they felt they had to, but has opened the door to post-nuptial agreements," The Telegraph quoted Sandra Davis, the head of family law at Mishcon de Reya, the leading firm of solicitors that represented Diana, Princess of Wales and Heather Mills in their divorces, as saying.

She added: "During their marriage, couples are now able to agree what they think is fair if they should split up rather than have the courts impose its version of fairness upon them. An agreement made during a marriage will now have the force of law, allowing married couples to regulate their financial affairs for the first time.

"Hopefully this will put an end to long, acrimonious and costly litigation. Agreements reached at the best of times will now be binding at the worst of times."

The case decided on by the Privy Council, the highest appeals court for UK overseas territories, involved Roderick MacLeod, 64, who has made an estimated 14m pounds fortune from cable television, and his wife Marcia, who is 22 years his junior.

Baroness Hale, who gave her judgement on the Macleod case, said that pre-nups should be legally binding.

She added that this was a matter for the Government to consider.

On the other hand, she put greater weight on post-nups saying that they can be more fair because one party cannot refuse to marry if they do not get what they want, as can happen in pre-nups.

Source: ANI

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