Are you looking at getting a prenuptial agreement? Have you been married before and don’t wish to go through another lengthy property settlement?
A recent case in the High Court has changed how prenuptial agreements are viewed in the courtroom.
In the case of Thorne v Kennedy, an Australian man met an Eastern European woman online and organised for her to come to Australia so they could be married. He was 67 and had been married before. She was 36 and had never been married. She arrived in Australia and the marriage was arranged. Over 100 guests were invited. Then, four days before the event, the husband came to her and said she would have to sign a prenuptial agreement. She was uncertain whether she should sign it and he said to her ‘if you don’t sign it, the wedding is off.’ So she signed it.
The High Court unanimously ruled to tear up the prenuptial agreement. According to the joint judgment, “Mr Kennedy took advantage of Ms Thorne’s vulnerability to obtain agreements which… were entirely inappropriate and wholly inadequate”.
Read about the case in this Sydney morning Herald article.
As Greg Martin, principal of Martin Bullock Lawyers, says:
It is really important to get your prenuptial agreement right. There is almost always unequal bargaining power between the two parties in a relationship, but the key is that the agreement has to be fair and entered into without coercion, undue influence or pressure upon either party. A freely entered into agreement will be enforceable whereas one involving coercion will not.
These parties paid a lot of money, both for the original agreement and then a fortune in court fees. Get it done right the first time!
If you are looking at getting a prenuptial agreement, or have an existing one and you need some advice, speak to Martin Bullock Lawyers to review your documents. Call us on 02 9687 9322.