Pre-nups and private client: Take note

Mark Pawlowski considers a recent decision on the enforceability of pre-nuptial agreements ‘It was essential that both parties should have entered into the agreement of their own free will without undue influence, fraud or misrepresentation, and with a full appreciation of its implications.’ The recent Court of Appeal decision in Versteegh v Versteegh [2018] has …
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International Focus: Well-prepared

Suzanne Kingston reviews recent developments in the courts’ approach to marital agreements ‘Where a pre-nuptial agreement has a clear purpose, and that purpose is understood by both parties (who have received advice and have an understanding what they are agreeing to give up), it is more likely to be upheld.’ If 2016 taught us anything …
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Pre-Nuptials: No excuses

Camilla Thornton examines case law post-Radmacher where a party has sought to overturn the terms of a nuptial agreement ‘Only in cases where the parties’ circumstances have changed in a way that was not anticipated will the courts look carefully at the fairness of justifying a pre-nuptial agreement entered into some time ago.’It has been …
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Periodical Payments: Future proofing

Fiona Wood summarises the courts’ approach to periodical payments orders and the limited circumstances in which a stepped order will be appropriate ‘The decision in Aburn illustrates the difficulties that arise when trying to predict what will happen in the future.’ In Aburn v Aburn [2016], a smaller money case where a stepped periodical payments …
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Standard Of Living: Lifestyle factors

Hazel Wright and Phoebe Sutton suggest that despite the provisions of section 25 the standard of living of the parties is becoming less relevant ‘It is hard to see future courts awarding periodical payments based on the standard of living in the great majority of marriages.’When family lawyers of a certain generation die, they will …
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Periodical Payments: Road to independence

Lisa Bray summarises the current case law on joint lives periodical payments orders and considers whether there is an increasing trend towards term orders ‘While the starting point is to put each party on the road to independence, the reality is that in recent years we have seen many judges showing a reluctance to make …
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Periodical Payments: Short-term solution

Camilla Thornton analyses recent decisions on maintenance and whether joint lives maintenance orders are facing extinction ‘A spousal maintenance award is properly made where the evidence shows that choices made during the marriage have generated hard future needs on the part of the claimant.’ There seems to have been a sea-change in recent years with …
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International Focus: Overseas influence

Philippa Hewitt explores the impact of Radmacher on the approach to marital agreements in Hong Kong ‘In Hong Kong, the wording of the relevant matrimonial legislation is very similar to that of England and Wales and, for that reason, the courts tend to look to English case law to assist in interpreting that law.’ Prior …
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Pre-Nuptial Agreements: Turning of the tide

Suzanne Todd and Luca Del Panta examine the future of pre-nups in the light of the Law Commission’s report ‘“Needs” in the context of a pre-nuptial agreement can be significantly less than they would otherwise be. But where the guillotine falls in any given case is intensely fact-specific.’ When, in October 2010, the Supreme Court …
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Family Businesses: The golden goose

Rebecca Stone reviews the case law relating to family businesses and the differing approaches taken by the courts to such assets ‘In F v F (clean break: balance of fairness) [2003] the judge accepted that where some of the assets are illiquid it may not be possible to achieve either the aim of equality or …
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