Prenups are becoming increasingly popular and although they are not legally binding automatically, they are now usually upheld by the courts if they are fair to both sides.
If they are not fair, it’s possible that they will be overturned, as happened recently in the High Court.
The case involved Morgan McConnell, who is an heiress of the Avon cosmetics business and the beneficiary of trusts worth £49 million. She married Anil Ipekci in 2005. At that time, Mr Ipekci had just been made bankrupt and had no significant assets of his own. He worked as a hotel concierge.
The couple signed a prenup agreement stating that in the event of a divorce, Mr Ipekci would only receive a half share in any increase in the value of three properties belonging to Ms McConnell.
However, the properties did not increase in value so under the prenup, Mr Ipekci would receive nothing.
Giving judgment in the case, Mr Justice Mostyn said it would be “wholly unfair” to hold Mr Ipekci to the prenup under these circumstances. He said: “The vast amount of money generated by the Avon business for the McConnell family means that, along with other relatives, she is the beneficiary of trusts in the US with an overall value of at least $65 million.”
He awarded Mr Ipekci a settlement of £1.3 million. He said the size of the award was based on Mr Ipekci’s needs. This took into account the fact that the couple had lived in London while they were married and enjoyed a “reasonably high standard” of living.
Mr Ipekci had worked throughout the marriage and moved to “very modest rented accommodation” after the couple separated.
If you would like more information or advice about the issues raised in this article, or any aspect of family law please contact our expert legal team on 0208 004 0065, by email at email@example.com or using the form below.
Case Citations: Ipekci vMcConnell - High Court - Mr Justice Mostyn
The contents of this article is general information only. The information in this article is not legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should obtain independent expert advice from qualified solicitors such as those within our firm.