Prenup has implications for Jordan and Andre

So it is all over. What started as a romance in the Queensland jungle and soon became a celebrity marriage with two children resulting has ended in tears. Jordan, or Katie Price to give her real name, is to split with Australian singer Peter Andre after three-and-a-half years of marriage.

Announcing the split, a spokesperson for the pair asked that their privacy be respected, perhaps ironically in view of the very visible way their marriage has been played out in the public eye, including a fly-on-the wall documentary.

Some may criticise the lifestyles of the duo, either during their marriage or before it, but the drawing up of a prenuptial agreement before their wedding may have implications for many more people than just this famous couple.

Commenting to the Daily Mail about this, Renato Labi, of family law firm Hughes Fowler Carruthers, said: "Prenup agreements are not binding under English law, but they can be persuasive to the court. If both parties had separate legal advice, gave disclosure of their financial circumstances and if the provisions of the pre-nuptial agreement are fair, then the court is likely to uphold it."

Such considerations may in this case protect the substantial fortune Ms Price has amassed from modelling, writing books and appearing on TV. But while few may have lived the lifestyle or made the money she has, a prenuptial agreement may be a useful tool for those about to marry, or those cohabiting who wish to draw up some sort of secure legal arrangement.

Recently, the issue of the enforceability of prenups made the news in the case of Katrin Radmacher, a German heiress to a fortune of £100 million, whose prenuptial agreement signed in Germany with her French husband Nicolas Granatino in 1998 stipulated that he would get nothing from her if they divorced.

Although the document was legally binding in Germany or France, the fact that it is not in the UK meant there was a chance that it might be set aside and it was, partly due to the fact that the pair had two children.

Ms Radmacher recently took this case to the court of appeal in an attempt to prevent Mr Granatino walking away with over £5 million. The outcome could lead to a situation where case law sees prenup agreements become enforceable and binding in the UK.

All of this may or may not impact upon Peter Andre and Katie Price, as the pair may manage to deal with matters amicably enough to have no dispute about a prenuptial agreement they both willingly signed. On the other hand, if their approach since yesterday of blaming each other for the split boils over, there could be trouble ahead.

Even so, as Mr Labi said, any court may decide the pre-nuptial agreement should be upheld. With or without a victory for Ms Radmacher, it may therefore continue to make sense for those considering such an agreement to go ahead and do it.

Published on: May 13, 2009

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