With recent high-profile divorces such as those of Paul McCartney and Heather Mills, Madonna and Guy Ritchie, the world of matrimonial law has frequently featured in the headlines. It is, however, a multi-million pound Isle of Man divorce case that has provided one of the most important and ground-breaking developments of recent times.
On December 17 2008, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, the highest Isle of Man appeal court, gave its judgment in the case of Marcia and Roderick MacLeod, the facts of which have been reported elsewhere. The case concerned the division of the couple’s assets, including Mr MacLeod’s £14million fortune, following divorce and turned on whether agreements made between the couple both before and during their marriage should be enforced.
A pre-nuptial agreement is an agreement made by a couple who intend to marry. It is signed before the marriage and usually, it deals primarily with arrangement of the family finances should the marriage break down or one of the parties die.
A post-nuptial agreement is an agreement made by a couple who are already married. It can be entered into at any stage during a marriage: after a marriage has broken down, when the marriage is going well and a breakdown is not on the cards, even on honeymoon. If a post-nuptial agreement is entered into after separation, it is known as a separation agreement and will obviously deal with arrangements in light of the separation. If a post-nuptial agreement is entered into when the relationship is going well, it can deal with similar issues to a pre-nup, i.e. division of finances upon separation/divorce or the death of one of the parties, but also (if required) financial and other arrangements during the continuation of the relationship.
Read the full article here: Pre-nuptial and post-nuptial Agreements