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Separation Agreement

Separation Agreements upheld in Divorce Proceedings

In the case of Hopkins V Hopkins, the Wife argued that the post nuptial agreement should not be taken into account.

In this case the Husband was 66 and the Wife was 62.

The parties had known each other a long time, but did not marry until April 2009.

In August 2011, the parties signed a Post Nuptial Agreement defining the appropriate division of the assets in the event the parties separated.

The parties subsequently separated in 2011 and the Wife applied for a declaration that the agreement should not be upheld, given she had signed it under duress (undue pressure).

The Court considered the Wife’s emotional state and what pressure she was under to agree.

The Court considered the case of Radmacher v Granatino 2010, which is the leading case for determining whether a Post Nuptial Agreement should be upheld.

In this case, the parties age, maturity and experience would count in favour of the agreement being upheld, as well as the fact the Wife had received detailed legal advice.

In view of this, the Wife had to prove that, notwithstanding the advice, her free will was overborne by the Husband.

After hearing the evidence, the Court considered that the Post Nuptial Agreement was not a dishonest document.

The Wife was considered to be capable of independent thought and aware of her own objectives. Therefore, the Court held that the Wife entered freely into the Post Nuptial Agreement with an appreciation of the implications.

The Court found that it was fair to hold the Wife to the terms of the Post Nuptial Agreement, given it had regard to her needs.

However, the main reason the agreement was upheld was because the parties had entered into the agreement with full legal advice and knowledge of the implications.

If you need assistance in respect of your matrimonial affairs, whether this is in respect of issues concerning a divorce and the related financial aspects, children, injunctions or cohabitation disputes, please contact our offices on 01323 727321 to arrange an appointment.

Please note that the family department offer a free initial 30 minute interview to provide general advice and guidance in relation to your matter.

Eastbourne, Hailsham, Polegate, Meads

Guy Brown
Guy Brown
Carolyn Richards
Carolyn Richards
Greg Saunders
Greg Saunders
Tina Ripley
Tina Ripley