Beware short marriages

In a decision of the court in December 2016, a wife was awarded a high level of maintenance even after a very short marriage. The parties had a child aged almost 2 and the marriage was only of some 19 months in total. The husband was a professional footballer and earning in the region of £1m per year.

The wife had no money, no income of her own and limited earning capacity. The wife was awarded maintenance on what is called a joint lives basis which included an element of stock piling, allowing her the security of home ownership. The stock piling element was used to enable the wife to pay down a mortgage. The husband was ordered to pay periodical payments of £164,000 per year, together with child support of £36,000 per year and some money by way of a lump sum. Therefore, it is extremely important that before you marry that you consider a prenuptial agreement. Whilst it may not have prevented all the orders the court has made, it would have gone some way to reducing the husband’s very onerous obligations after a very short marriage. If you are considering entering into a prenuptial agreement, it is important that it is done at least 28 days before the marriage, therefore do not leave it until the last minute.