Pre-nuptial agreements – are they a wrecking ball?
29 August 2017 by Kate Crossman
It was recently reported that the singer Miley Cyrus and her fiancé, Australian actor Liam Hemsworth, are arguing over her suggestion that they have a pre-nuptial agreement drawn up prior to their impending marriage.
Liam was said to be deeply offended that his bride to be had suggested a pre-nuptial agreement. He did not feel this was necessary. The argument was said to be so bad that Miley was concerned that Liam would not go ahead with their wedding.
Nuptial agreements can be entered into before, during and after a marriage or civil partnership. A pre-nuptial agreement, or ‘pre-nup’ as it is commonly known, is an agreement entered into before the marriage and is often used by couples as a way to protect their financial interests.
Nuptial agreements are often entered into by couples who are financially independent or who have wealth that is inherited or from a previous relationship which they agree should be preserved for future generations. Miley Cyrus reportedly has a net worth of approximately $120 million, whilst Liam Hemsworth’s reported net worth is far less at $16 million, and this disparity may explain why Miley may have felt a pre-nuptial agreement appropriate.
In the leading case in 2010 involving the German heiress Katrin Radmacher, the Supreme Court in England recognised that a court should give effect to a nuptial agreement that is freely entered into by each party, intending it to have legal effect and with a full appreciation of its implications unless, in the circumstances as they are at the time when the court has to consider them, it would not be fair to hold the parties to their agreement.
A pre-nuptial agreement should consider a couple’s future plans, such as having children, and may include a clause to review the agreement at a later date or in the event of a change in circumstances or triggering event. It should also include a consideration of how the needs of the parties and any children should be met if their relationship comes to an end.
It is important to ensure that a pre-nuptial agreement is signed long enough before a marriage to avoid any suggestion that one party has been put under undue pressure to sign.
If you would like advice regarding a pre-nuptial agreement, please contact our family department – [email protected].