Pre-Nuptial Agreement Upheld in Court in Radmacher v Granatino Case
A high profile divorce case has set a new legal precedent in the UK for pre-nuptial agreements, after judges in the Supreme Court upheld a decision that pre-nuptial agreements should be taken into account during ancillary relief proceedings.
The case of Radmacher (formerly Granatino) and Granatino has caught the headlines in recent years. Katrin Radmacher, at the time worth £100m, and Nicolas Granatino married in 1998, and the couple signed a pre-nuptial agreement in order to prove they were marrying ’only for love’.
During the early years of their relationship Nicolas Granatino was working in the City, at one point earning an annual wage of approximately £325,000. However, in 2003, Mr Granatino opted for a change in career and became a researcher at Oxford University earning £30,000 per year. This change of career became a contributing factor to the breakdown of the couple’s marriage.
Ancillary (financial) relief proceedings ensued and in 2008 Mrs Justice Baron awarded Mr Granatino the sum of £5.8m ignoring the pre-nuptial agreement previously signed by both parties. This decision was based on the Mr Granatino’s argument that he did not understand the implications of the agreement and there had not been full financial disclosure at the time of signing.
Ms Radmacher then appealed to the Court of Appeal and in 2009 the court ordered that pre-nuptial agreements should be taken into account in ancillary relief proceedings.
Mr Granatino then launched a counter-appeal to the Supreme Court, stating that to accept the Court of Appeal’s decision would constitute a ’financial catastrophe’ on his part.
However, last week Mr Granatino’s appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal was dismissed on a majority of 8 to 1, setting a new legal precedent for pre-nuptial agreements in the UK, where previously they had been used only as a loose guideline rather than a legally binding document.
Elizabeth Lacey of Gloucester’s Tayntons LLP points out that ’It must be remembered that whilst this is case law and does not change statute law, the Law Commission will decide in 2012 whether or not the law should be changed to make pre-nuptial agreements fully enforceable, so watch this space…’
For more information regarding pre-nuptial agreements, contact Liz Lacey on 01452 509859 or visit this site: http://www.tayntons.co.uk/news/change-of-status-for-pre-nuptial-agreements.html
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