A wife has told a Family Court that her millionaire husband ‘tricked’ her into signing a prenuptial agreement after he told her it was “just a piece of paper”.
Mr Justice Francis heard how the couple made the agreement more than 17 years ago during a weekend getaway at a Niagara Falls resort.
But now the woman, aged 49, has asked the Court to waive the agreement claiming it was unfair. According to reports, the document will leave her with just £500,000 of an £11 million fortune.
Her husband, aged 50, says he made it “clear from the outset” that he would not marry without a prenuptial agreement and says his wife is “entitled to nothing beyond” half the value of a house they shared in Berkshire.
Judge Francis, who ruled that the wife should receive 50 per cent of the house but has not yet concluded whether the prenuptial agreement should be waivered, explained the women’s statement to the Court.
“She described how on either the Saturday or the Sunday she and [the man] were lying on the bed relaxing when the husband ‘got up and took a document out of his luggage and told me you will need to sign this prenuptial agreement before we go home on Monday’,” he said.
“She says that he was very matter-of-fact.”
Judge Francis added: “She says that he told her that ‘it wasn’t about me or us it was about his businesses’, and that he told her repeatedly that it was ‘just a piece of paper’ and that it would not make any difference to her.
“Crucially she says ‘he told me if ever we divorced I would carry on financially just as before. Nothing would change.
“The prenuptial agreement would not make a difference to me. I should trust him, he said, because he had always looked after me. He made me feel guilty for implying that he might not stand by his word’.”
Justice Francis said the husband, an asset portfolio manager, denied that the wife was in any way shocked or offended by the idea of a prenuptial agreement.
“He says that he made it clear from the outset that he would not marry without a prenuptial agreement and that marriage was simply not something that was particularly important to him,” the Judge said.
The case continues.