Schillings Hails Radmacher Ruling as More Than Just Financial Opportunity

By Schillings, PRNE
Monday, November 1, 2010

LONDON, November 2, 2010 - Schillings has revealed that a landmark legal ruling made by the Supreme
Court has given significant strength to the rights of couples ahead of
marriage to divide their assets in the event that the marriage breaks down.

The Supreme Court decided that prenuptial agreements (
should be given 'decisive weight' in divorce proceedings, rather
than merely being taken into account alongside a number of other factors such
as the standard of life enjoyed during the marriage and the earning capacity
of the parties.

Commenting on the ruling, Keith Schilling, founder and senior partner at
Schillings, ( the leading privacy and
family law ( firm, said: "This decision
offers couples more than just an opportunity to establish financial
arrangements in the event of relationship breakdown. At a time when big money
divorces seem to be of huge interest to the media, pre-nuptial agreements can
also be used as a privacy tool to prevent either party from spilling the
beans about the marriage."

Pre-nups can provide for a fair division of property assets before a
marriage takes place, protect existing or inherited wealth and can also avoid
contested divorce proceedings. Financial proceedings following divorce now
take place in the presence of the press and a marital contract can avoid

For many, this decision will be viewed favourably and seen as a positive
step forward - an acknowledgment that those entering into marriage are adults
and capable of deciding how their marriage should end (in the event that it

For some, however, pre-nups raise the spectre of fiancés blinded by love
signing away their rights to a fair financial settlement in the event of a
future divorce.

Rachel Atkins, Schillings Family team, commented: "On the plus side,
married couples can now regulate the division of their assets on divorce even
before they are married and their finances need not be subjected to media
scrutiny during a divorce hearing. However, there is potential for the
financially weaker party, often the wife, getting a raw deal as they may have
made a real contribution to the family finances but under the marriage
contract agreed not to receive any part of it. Was it right therefore, that
the panel of the Supreme Court be made up of eight men and one woman? It is
also profoundly unromantic."

Davina Hay, Schillings Family team, added: "We expect it to lead to
pre-nups being much more widely used as they are on the continent and in much
of the United States. The greater weight now attached to pre-nups means that
married couples can now move to regulate the division of their finances on
divorce even before they are married. Ironically, wives are more likely to be
disadvantaged by marriage contracts yet in this case it was a wife who
changed the law."

Notes to Editors:

Case number: [2010] UKSC 42

About Schillings:

Schillings is one of Britain's top law firms dedicated to safeguarding
the reputations of international corporations, brands, celebrities and
high-profile business people. The firm's track-record in defamation, privacy
law and divorce law, (
as well as commercial dispute resolution and media
management ( is
second to none.

(Due to the length of these URLs, it may be necessary to copy and paste
this hyperlink into your Internet browser's URL address field. Remove the
space if one exists.)

Defamation, privacy and copyright are at the heart of the firm's work,
prompting The Independent newspaper to call Schillings a "spectacularly
efficient media law firm."

Schillings clients include supermodel Naomi Campbell, actress Nicole
, seven times Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, premiership
footballer Wayne Rooney, Harry Potter author JK Rowling, pharmaceuticals
maker GlaxoSmithKline, steel maker Arcelor Mittal, the Harrods Group and the
London Stock Exchange.

    Schillings PR contact:

    Christopher Mills
    Commercial Director
    41 Bedford Square
    WC1B 3HX

Schillings PR contact: Christopher Mills, Commercial Director, Schillings, 41 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3HX, +44(0)20-7034-9000

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