A German heiress is defending an action taken by her former husband over the pre-nuptial agreement they signed before their marriage. Katrin Radmacher is estimated to be worth £100m but her former husband, Nicholas Granatino, says he had no idea of the extent of her wealth when they married. If the pre-nuptial agreement is held to be enforceable, Mr. Granatino’s lawyers claim he would suffer personal hardship.
His original settlement of £5m was awarded on the basis that the pre-nuptial agreement was ‘manifestly unfair’. This was because Mr. Granatino had not taken legal advice, had no disclosure of his wife’s financial affairs, and would be left with nothing in the event of divorce. This ruling was overturned by the Court of Appeal, which determined that insignificant weight had been given to the importance of the agreement, given that Mr Grantiano was a seasoned City professional before the couple's marriage. The settlement was reduced to £1m.
The case is now due to be heard in the Supreme Court, and will have wide-reaching implications for couples who sign pre-nuptial agreements before getting married. At the moment, pre-nuptial agreements are not legally binding but the court is entitled to take them into consideration in the event of dispute.