In a recent case of Gray -v- Work, the High Court has split the assets of a divorcing US couple despite the husband’s claim that the wife had broken a post nuptial agreement.

The couple married in 1992. The husband was an extremely successful business man and had worked in Texas, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

Whilst in Texas the couple had signed a post nuptial agreement, the effect of which was to “partition” the parties separate properties.

When the marriage broke down the husband filed for divorce and argued that his wife was not entitled to a full share of his wealth. The husband refused to offer his wife any of his own assets or separate property, just paid to her $5million, which was the value his attributed to her own separate property which he controlled. The couple’s joint assets were valued at $225 million and so the husband’s offer amounted to approximately 2% of the joint assets. This was, the husband claimed, because the wife had failed to comply with the terms of the post nuptial agreement.

The High Court found that during the 20 year marriage the wife had been a good wife and mother. She may not have received proper legal advice when she signed the post nuptial agreement and consequently the Court decided that she should not be held to the terms of the agreement.

A Court declared that the husband had not made a special contribution to the wealth to entitle him to keep more and so split the assets equally.

This case is yet another example that where couples are considering entering into either pre nuptial or post nuptial settlements, they should obtain specialist legal advice in what is a complex area of law.

For further assistance or advice contact Ringrose Law Family team at one of our offices across Lincolnshire and Newark or speak to Christine on 01205 311511.


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