Thoughts on agreements made “pre” the “nuptial” agreements

Well, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (i.e. the House of Lords) have made a landmark ruling that a pre-nuptial agreement should be legally binding (in a particular case). Not entirely clear what ratio decidendi this judgement has, but the statement on the BBC website does say that the Court decided that “in the right case” prenuptial agreements were applicable in the law.

Two thoughts:

– Isn’t the agreement that should be legally binding the one that says “I take thee X to be my husband/wife…until we are parted by death”, and the words said when giving the ring “all that I have, I give to you”?

– The husband in this case is going to be given a reduced payment of only £1m (rather than £5m). He has said that this smaller settlement would leave him in financial ruin. Er? 1m? Financial ruin? I’m not quite sure what planet this guy lives on, but £1m used to be a lot of money!

(Or am I just being (a) hopelessly old fashioned, (b) out of touch, or (c) all of the above?)

6 thoughts on “Thoughts on agreements made “pre” the “nuptial” agreements

  1. I think it depends on the vows said in the ceremony – not all marriage ceremonies include “all that I have, I give to you”. If that wasn’t said, then it obviously can’t stand. Also, it’s a question of whether new contracts entered (the marriage contract) nullify previous ones (the pre-nup). It’s certainly an interesting debate, in my view. I look forward to understanding it better.

    It’s not even £1m! It’s £1m and a £2.5m house to be held in trust for their children, or something like that. I get that wealth is relative, and if you’re used to living off £10m then £1m feels like nothing, but still – he must realise that making statements like that reduces the average person’s ability to have any sympathy…

  2. The “parted by death” thing obviously is able to be nullified, given that divorce exists.

    But I like that you’re old-fashioned and romantic about marriage 🙂

  3. I was once involved in a televised debate about the moral issues raised by treating people for drug addiction – should resources be diverted for it? Among other things each of us was asked, if your husband was a hopeless addict and had ruined your life thereby, would you spend money on getting him cured? I said I’d have to keep my promises. “What promises? Oh – you mean your marriage vows!” I think maybe it’s a bad thing that they’re called vows – that sounds formal and archaic and maybe people don’t think you really have to keep them.

    • With you on this one Verlinda. I think a prenup also says that you value your money more than your wife/husband, which is totally wrong!

      I can understand people wanting to protect the “weaker” or “poorer” partner, but the law trys to do that in this country anyway. It seems to me that a prenup is only ever to protect the “stronger” “richer” party…

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