The UK Supreme Court will be making a decision in the case of Rademacher v. Granatino on the question of whether a prenuptial contract is valid under English law.
This has been in the public eye for some time now. If you’ve missed it, it might be interesting as an example of English law’s attitude to marriage contracts. It may or may not make prenuptial agreements more binding in England and Wales.
It’s quite common for marriage contracts to be recognized in German law, and also in French law. The parties are of German and French nationality, but because they mainly live in London, their divorce went to the English courts.
In Germany a person who does not want a notional 50-50 sharing of all marital property can enter into a prenuptial contract. But both spouses have to get legal advice. The contract will normally be binding.
In England and Wales, there may be a prenuptial contract, but the court will not feel bound by it. It retains discretion to divide the property fairly. It may follow the prenup if it seems fair.
Radmacher and Granatino agreed that if they divorced they would not make any claims against each other, only for the two children. There was neither independent legal advice (which there would have to be in Germany) nor did Katrin Radmacher disclose the millions she was about to inherit. Granatino also argues sexism in the current state of the proceedings (his award at first instance was greatly reduced by the Court of Appeal) because, he argues, a woman who had given up a well-paid job would have been treated more generously.