InsightsInsight - Family and Divorce - POSTED: December 15 2020
Nuptial agreements: why Beckham and Peltz have made a smart choice
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It has recently been reported that Brooklyn Beckham and his fiancée Nicola Peltz, who is heiress to her father’s billionaire fortune, have entered into a pre-nuptial agreement ahead of their impending wedding (or should I say weddings, as the pair have chosen to tie the knot on both sides of the Atlantic).
When discussing the couple’s decision on Channel 4 show Steph’s Packed Lunch this week, Vogue Williams, ex-wife of popstar Brian McFadden and current wife of reality TV star Spencer Matthews, joked that she would be “quids in” if her and Matthews divorce.
She revealed that the couple did not discuss or enter into a pre-nuptial agreement before they wed, despite Matthews being heir to his parents’ vast fortune and Williams admitting that her divorce from McFadden was difficult.
Pre-nuptial agreements are becoming more and more common in England, particularly for couples entering into second marriages or where one brings unmatched wealth (often inherited) to the marriage. It is not a prerequisite of pre-nuptial agreements that the parties are very wealthy; many couples with modest but unequal assets wish to set out how they would be divided upon divorce.
It is important to note that such agreements are not currently binding upon the Courts of England and Wales. However, provided certain conditions are met before the agreement is signed, the existence of an agreement will be compelling in any subsequent divorce proceedings and the terms of the agreement will often be upheld by the Court.
Something which Williams and Matthews may not know about is a post-nuptial agreement. This acts in much the same way as a pre-nuptial agreement (and the same pre-conditions discussed above must be met) but can be entered into after a couple marry.
Post-nuptial agreements can be particularly useful where, after a couple have married, one party comes into wealth or assets from a third-party source, or where parties have temporarily separated and wish to reconcile on their own terms.
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