Bahamian Supreme Court Ruling Backs Prenuptial Agreement

by Thailand Lawyer on August 29, 2011

In what is being proclaimed a precedent setting case, the Supreme Court in the Bahamas has ruled a prenuptial agreement to be legally binding. The court dismissed an ex-wife’s plea to not apply the prenuptial agreement signed by the Bahamian couple prior to marriage.

The husband’s assets were thus protected and the decision affirmed his right to maintain the assets he held prior to the marriage.

The attorney in the case, Nerissa Greene, a partner at Halsbury Chambers, said that “this is the first real test of a pre-nuptial agreement in a Bahamian court, and it is a major victory for the protection of pre-marital assets”.

The Chief Justice in the case did not excuse the husband from all financial responsibility however, and did award the ex-wife assets that she gained during the course of the marriage.

This ruling demonstrates that prenuptial agreements are increasingly being viewed by the courts as valid, binding agreements signed by both parties in a rational manner, prior to any emotional turmoil caused during the course of a divorce.

“The Wife had a choice,” the Chief Justice wrote. “He (the husband) wanted to protect his assets, and the wife was fully aware on advice of exactly what she was doing when she signed the prenuptial agreement.”

Currently, under many legal systems, courts are not bound by prenuptial agreements. Courts may use the agreement to make a judgment about the wishes of each party, but do not always view the agreement as binding. This recent Supreme Court decision is expected to push acceptance of prenuptial agreements, and other post-nuptial agreements, by the courts. The courts do currently accept separation agreements, so this decision sets a precedent for how future cases involving prenuptials are likely to be viewed.

If a couple happens to decide to marry in Thailand and then return to another country, if both parties wish to create a prenuptial agreement then it would behoove them to contact an established prenuptial agreement lawyer, Thailand-based. The attorney should be highly knowledgeable in both Thailand prenuptial law and the law in the relevant home country where the newly weds will be living.

Related Documents:

International Prenuptial Agreements Part I

International Prenuptial Agreements: Part II

International Prenuptial Agreements: Part III

Divorce Law of Thailand

Prenuptial Law in Europe, Australia and the UK

Updated: We have an iron-clad prenuptial agreement and other Myths of the Prenuptial Agreement

US Thailand Lawyer

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