Two International Divorce Cases Highlight International Prenuptial Agreements

by Thailand Lawyer on November 24, 2010

In an era where it’s expected that almost half of all marriages will end in divorce, prenuptial agreements may provide a valuable tool for asset protection and the avoidance of future disputes and litigation. In Thailand, prenuptial agreements are registered with the Thai government at the time of marriage. However, for international marriages, prospective spouses must also contend with laws of other jurisdictions that follow a different system of law, such as the USA, UK, Canada, Australia and other Western nations. In Western common law jurisdictions, prenuptial agreements are more at risk for being struck down by Family Court judgments. However, in two recent landmark divorce rulings in courts regarding prenuptial agreements in the UK and  prenuptial agreements in Hong Kong, the courts set a precedent to give more weight to the consideration of prenuptial agreements in divorce proceedings. The court rulings also gave more clout to the concept of equal distribution of assets between a husband and a wife seeking divorce.

Last month, the Supreme Court in London upheld the conditions outlined in a prenuptial agreement between German heiress Katrin Radmacher in her divorce with her French investment banker husband. This ruling served to support the UK Court’s recognition of validly executed prenuptial agreements as well as provide guidelines for attorneys drafting such agreements.

In another court decision earlier this month, in Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal, a ruling was issued that upheld the framework of a prenuptial agreement. The ruling in Hong Kong is important as it introduced the concept of ‘equal sharing’ as the starting point when making a decision on how to best divide assets in a divorce. Previously, consideration for awarding ownership of surplus in assets was typically given to the main income earner in the relationship, after the financial needs of their previous spouse had been met.

The ripple effect of these court rulings are thought to affect the use of prenuptials internationally, and in particular will affect international prenuptial agreements in Thailand.

In another high profile divorce case that recently hit the news, the weight of a US couple’s prenuptial agreement is about to be tested. In the case of Eva Longoria and Tony Parker, both parties signed a prenup prior to their marriage, and now face the laborious process of divorce proceedings and squabbling over assets.

Related Articles:

Recent UK Prenuptial Case Decision

Prenuptials and Divorce in Thailand

Thailand Prenuptial Agreements

Considerations for International Prenuptial Agreements

Marriage and Divorce in Thailand: When Love Turns Deadly

Related Documents:

The Civil and Commercial Code of Thailand

US Uniform Premarital Agreement Act

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

brett March 17, 2012 at 11:48

is a pre-nup
signed in thailand legal in the uk
will it hold up in uk court in a divorce

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