Wife’s Fight For Share Of Ex's Child Abuse Payout Shows Value Of Post-Nups

A Practical Way To Deal With A Difficult Situation


Oliver Wicks, Press Officer | 0114 274 4649

Leading family law experts have reiterated the importance of post-nuptial agreements to protect a settlement received before the relationship started.

This comes after the news that an estranged wife is trying to claim part of the £175,000 compensation her husband received for suffering sexual abuse as a child.

As part of her divorce settlement, Helen Tippett, 41, has applied to the courts for a share of the compensation paid to Andrew Kerslake.

Mr Kerslake, 45, personally regards the compensation as ‘dirty money’ and put it into a trust to be given to charity when he dies.

But Miss Tippett believes the money is a marital asset and wants her share of it.

The father-of-four was paid the sum in 2002 by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, a government organisation which pays damages to victims of violent crime, after being molested between the ages of five and ten by a family friend.

When the compensation was paid the couple were happily married with Miss Tippett studying for a humanities degree and Mr Kerslake a stay-at-home father.

Mr Kerslake wants the fund to be his legacy and has laid down instructions about how it should be used to help other victims of abuse.

Irwin Mitchell’s family law team help thousands of people decide what is right personally, legally and financially for them and their family.

Expert lawyer Teresa Davidson feels that a case like the one involving Mr Kerslake highlights why a post-nuptial agreement can be a sensible and straightforward decision in certain circumstances.

Expert Opinion
“Although it may be difficult to discuss private and personal history, agreeing to a post-nuptial can often be the most practical way to deal with a difficult situation.

“We know how much of a life-changing impact many forms of abuse can have and it takes a brave individual to be able to talk about their situation with someone close to them and decide what should happen to their compensation.

“Unfortunately, relationships do get strained and the last thing you want when dealing with a separation is to contest a sum of money that has not previous been accounted for and may well be the last thing you want to discuss.

“Many people are aware of pre-nuptials that are signed before a couple marry but not post-nuptials to cover something that took place before the relationship started.

“A post-nuptial can specify exactly how the couple’s finances are divided in the event of a separation and can clearly detail factors such as money received from a specific compensation claim.

“Although it might not be the easiest subject to discuss, it is far better to do it whilst the relationship is strong then try and sort it later down the line when it can easily become an emotionally fraught and challenging legal battle."
Teresa Davidson, Partner