A wife was recently able to obtain a divorce settlement worth £10m when the post-nuptial agreement she had entered into was ruled invalid in the High Court, because she had signed it under excessive pressure.
The wife was put under pressure to sign the agreement when her husband discovered that she had had an affair with his best friend. Under the agreement, in the event of the couple divorcing, she agreed a divorce settlement of a house worth £3m and annual maintenance of £250,000. There was no lump sum payable however. Some time later, the wife resumed the affair and her husband instituted divorce proceedings.
The Court held that the agreement was made under undue and unacceptable pressure, preventing the wife from making a ‘clear, calm and rational’ decision. It was therefore unenforceable.
The Court ruled that the wife should receive a house worth £4m and a lump sum of £6m.