High Court Backs Divorce Award Despite Terms of Pre-Marital Agreements

Ex-Husband To Receive Funds Due To The Need For ‘Proper Provision’


The High Court has ruled that the ex-husband of a millionaire’s daughter should be given more than £1 million as part of their divorce, despite three pre and post-marital agreements stating that her husband should not make any claims against the family’s assets in the event of a separation or divorce.

Frankie Limata is to receive £1.2 million following his split with Victoria Luckwell, the daughter of media company director Mike Luckwell who is believed to have a fortune of around £135 million.

High Court Family Division judge Mr Justice Holman made the ruling to ensure Mr Limata would have a home for himself and the parties’ children and be able to pay off debts following the divorce, despite the three agreements stating clearly that he would not have any claims in relation to his wife’s fortune.

The case was assessed with reference to Mr Limata’s needs, primarily for housing. The pre and post marital agreements did not meet his basic requirements as they failed to give him a penny. The judge stated that despite the agreements, proper financial provision was still needed by Mr Limata – particularly to ensure that the separation would not adversely affect the couple’s three children, who otherwise may see their mother living in luxury, but their father in “relative penury”.

The case was concluded a day after the Law Commission issued new proposals to make pre-marital agreements legally binding if it meets contract law criteria, is signed no less than 28 days before a wedding and includes a statement signed by the couple that they understand the document will partially remove the court’s discretion to make financial orders. Parties signing a pre marital agreement must also seek independent legal advice and disclose details of their wealth.

However, the Law Commission stressed that under the plans, the family court will be unable to depart from a pre marital agreement if it does not provide for a party’s needs. How needs are to be assessed by the court are going to be considered further by the Family Justice Council.