Only last month it was announced that prenuptial agreements, better known as pre-nups, would be made legally binding in England and Wales and yet this week the media has reported that the wealthy daughter of a multimillionaire media mogul has been ordered to pay her husband £1.2 million in a divorce settlement, even though there were three pre-nups in place.
This sad tale of the breakdown of a marriage and then the financial wrangling of all the parties involved has ensured that this couple’s divorce has made the papers.
Ms Luckwell, the daughter of Mike Luckwell, who owns the media company responsible for Bob the Builder, married her husband Mr Limata in 2005. He signed a prenuptial agreement and then followed this up with two additional agreements. Their marriage lasted 7 years until it broke down in 2012 over financial issues.
Mr Limata now has no assets and has debts of over a quarter of a million pounds. In contrast Ms Luckwell has nearly £7 million, which is mostly made up of a London property where she and her children live, which was purchased and given to her by her father.
Her father told the court that he would stop paying for the couple’s three children to go to private school and that he would cut off his daughter if she paid any money to Mr Limata.
However, the judge ordered that an award was unavoidable because the children would be living in luxury with the mother and in poverty with their father and if the roles were reversed, there would undoubtedly be an award made in the same circumstances.
Ms Luckwell faces having to sell her property in Westminster to be able to pay the settlement to her ex-husband, who will receive a 3 bedroom house for £900,000 to live in until the youngest child is 22 years old. It will then be sold and he will receive 55% of the proceeds to buy a new home for himself.
This judgment demonstrates that currently prenuptial agreements are taken into account, however, the financial status of the person who signed it will be factored in to any decisions made.
If you are considering a prenuptial agreement, you should seek independent legal advice so you are clear about what this means for you.
This information provided in this article is not intended to constitute legal advice and each relationship breakdown requires careful consideration in our view by a fully qualified Solicitor before decisions are made and before you embark on a certain course of action.
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