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Pre-nuptial Agreements come before the Court again

Posted: 24 July 2023

Pre-nuptial agreements come before the Court again in the case of MN v AN [2023] EWHC 613 (Fam)

The background of the case

 In this case the wife had assets of £62,000 and the husband £32.5 million. In 2005 they signed a pre­ nuptial agreement, which provided for the husband to pay the wife £500,000 for each year of marriage, to be capped at £12.5 million after 25 years of marriage, and, after 8 years or after the birth of children, if earlier, the wife was to receive 50% of the value of their property in London.

Alternatively, the wife would receive 50% of any of the husbands increase of assets during the marriage, if greater. However, this was capped at 42% of the husband’s total wealth. Additionally, the husband was to pay all expenses relating to their children plus their school fees.

Pre-nuptial agreement case

The issues of the case

 The wife took issue that the pre-nuptial agreement was signed five years prior to the landmark case of Radmacher – Garantino and because of this, the wife argued the pre-nuptial agreement was invalid. She sought £18.1 million and wished to remain in the family home with the children.

The wife also highlighted issues of coercive behaviour and undue influence from her husband as she argued he had stated there would be no marriage in the absence of the pre-nuptial agreement.

The outcome

 Moor J found the pre-nuptial agreement could not be ignored as it had been entered into following sound legal advice and full disclosure. The terms were reasonable and met the wife’s needs. In relation to coercive behaviour, he concluded the wife had not been under any ‘undue’ pressure and that no vitiating factors led to a reduction of the pre-nuptial agreement’s weight. This case aligns with the decision of Radmacher and Moor J revisited the fact that when you enter into a pre-nuptial agreement, you must accept you will be held to the terms of it.

If you would like to know more information about pre-nuptial agreements, please see our blog post ‘Pre-Nuptial Agreements – are they necessary?’ dated 19th May 2023 on our website.

If you need advice about pre-nuptial agreements, then contact us on 01245 493 959 to speak with one of our specialist Family Team

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