The answer of course is that we don’t know if a pre-nuptial agreement was signed and will probably only find out in the event of a divorce.
After taking facebook public on Friday 18th May, Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth now stands at a reported $17 billion. The question is though in the event of a divorcewill his new wife Priscilla Chan be entitled to any of this wealth?
California, the state in America where they married is one of fewer than a dozen states that follow community property law, which generally states that anything that was one spouse’s property before marriage is considered separate. After marraige, anything either partner earns is considered community property.
What would be the position of the Courts in England if a pre-nuptial agreement was in place?
Pre Nuptial Agreements have historically held little sway over the Courts in the UK, although this position has been changing recently.
In October 2010 The Supreme Court confirmed the position UK courts should take concerning pre-nuptial agreements in the case of Radmacher v Granatino.
The court ruled in this landmark case that:
“British courts should give effect to a nuptial agreement that is freely entered into by each party with a full appreciation of its implications unless in the circumstances prevailing it would not be fair to hold the parties to their agreement.”
The Supreme Court put aside the difficulties with the original agreement and declared that it would be “Patronising” and “Paternalistic” for the Courts to impose a different settlement on adults who had made their own “Nuptial” agreements.
This judgment suggests that the UK Courts have fallen in line with most European countries in giving significant weight to pre-nuptial agreements.
It would be the case therefore that if the Zuckerberg’s had married in England and signed a pe-nuptial agreement the Court’s may be inclined to give full weight to it.
Has Radmacher been followed – read some recent Court decisions.
Getting Married? Want a pre-nuptial agreement?
If you are getting married and would like a pre-nuptial agreement to be put in place contact one of our divorce solicitors for a confidential chat. You can also read more abour pre and post nuptial agreements on this website.
You can also contact us for advice on any other family law issue including if you are seeking a divorce.
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