The Supreme Court has handed down its decision today in the Radmacher case – the everyday story of a massively rich German heiress who fell in love and married and then fell out of love and divorced her husband.
Ms Radmacher had the wisdom to create a pre-nuptial agreement with her betrothed and this found support in the Court of Appeal, which reduced his settlement from £5 million to £1.5 million. He appealed to the Supreme Court, which ruled in favour of the terms of the pre-nup. The Court took the view that in circumstances such as this, consenting adults who should reasonably be expected to abide by the agreements they have made.
This case puts the final stamp of approval on pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements. The courts have been unwilling to back the former fully in the past. However, Lord Phillips, President of the Court, was at pains to point out that the courts would still have the discretion to overrule the terms of a pre-nup, especially in cases in which the operation of the agreement would be unfair to the children of the marriage.