British court ruling gives legal status to pre-nups

20th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

Britain's highest court ruled in favour of one of Europe's richest women on Wednesday in a landmark divorce case that gives new legal status to pre-nuptial agreements in the country.

German heiress Katrin Radmacher had asked the Supreme Court to recognise a pre-wedding agreement signed by her ex-husband, French university researcher Nicolas Granatino, that he would make no claims on her fortune.

Granatino had been trying to win a six-million-pound (9.4-million-dollar, 6.8-million-euro) settlement from Radmacher, an heiress to a paper company who has an estimated fortune of 100 million pounds.

But judges ruled Wednesday that "decisive weight" should be given to the pre-nuptial agreement -- adding that it would now be "natural to infer that parties entering into agreements will intend that effect be given to them".

English law had previously not normally considered pre-nuptial agreements as binding. Granatino's lawyers had previously argued in court that prenups were "unenforceable".

"I am really pleased with the ruling but saddened at the four-year process that brought us to this point," Radmacher, who was present in court for the ruling, said afterwards.

"I am delighted that Britain has upheld fairness. It is important to me that no-one else should have to go through this."

© 2010 AFP

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