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Prenuptial Agreements and the United Kingdom

By Leeds Brown Law | November 24, 2010

The United Kingdom Supreme Court has taken a major affirmation toward fully recognizing prenuptial agreements.  It may come to a surprise to many that traditionally, the United Kingdom has refused to recognize prenuptial agreements as valid binding agreements.  The UK Supreme Court on October 20th ruled in favor of a German heiress seeking to protect her considerable fortune from her ex-husband.  Katrin Radmacher, 40, a paper industry heiress with an estimated $86.5 million U.S. dollar fortune, is from Germany.  Her now ex-husband, Nicolas Granatino, 39, is a former investment banker from France.  The couple married in England although executed their pre-nuptial agreement in Germany.  Because the couple lived in England and filed for divorce in England, the courts were able to apply English law.  In a landmark decision that has erased a long standing law in the United Kingdom that a married couple’s property should be shared, the UK Supreme Court recognized that the couple’s prenuptial agreement shall have full legal status in England.  It is noteworthy that England’s prenuptial agreement law is going to be reviewed by Britain’s Law Commission, but the review will not happen until 2012.  Full article

In America, more than half of all marriages end in divorce.  Some marriages end in very ugly and bitter divorces.  Despite this well known fact, many couples refuse to “kill the romance” with the P word: Prenup.  A prenuptial agreement is a contract between two people about to wed that spells out how assets will be distributed in the event of divorce or death.  It is important that a couple thinks of it as a business arrangement or as an insurance policy to help remove some of the emotion that is naturally involved.  Marriage is a financial union just as much as it is an emotional and physical union.  Just as premarital counseling may ensure the well-being of a marriage, sitting down with your lawyer to discuss your options to protect your assets may ensure the financial well-being of the marriage.  A prenuptial agreement will protect assets such as a home, real estate investments stock or retirement funds; business and professional practice; the value of academic or professional degree (some people who get a degree during marriage are forced to pay part of its value to the spouse during divorce); and any future increases in income.

The law firm of Leeds, Morelli & Brown, P.C. has represented clients in Nassau and Suffolk counties, Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, and Staten Island.  If you are facing a divorce proceeding, it is important to hire lawyers that are capable of advocating your needs.  For any questions, contact an attorney at the Leeds Morelli & Brown P.C. law firm for a free consultation at 1-888-556-2529 or visit our divorce website at www.lbdivorcelaw.com.

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