Post-nuptial agreements have only recently been recognised by the UK courts and should only be considered after taking thorough legal advice. In one case, a woman had her £2 million claim against her ex-husband dismissed after a judge ruled that she would have to live with a ‘post-nup’ which she had signed of her own free will.
The woman had accused her ex-husband of bullying her into signing the post-nup, which granted her sole ownership of the marital home and an investment property, as well as a 50 per cent share of his pension. In asking the family judge to award her an additional £2 million, she estimated her ex-husband’s worth at over £50 million. He had, however, offered to settle her claim for £200,000.
Ruling in the ex-husband’s favour, the judge rejected claims that he had exerted duress or undue influence over his ex-wife. Although saddened by the end of her marriage, she was capable of independent and rational thought when she signed the post-nup. In those circumstances, it would be unfair on the ex-husband not to hold her to the terms of the agreement.