After 18 months of marriage it seems that Cheryl Fernandez-Versini (aka Cheryl Cole) and husband Jean-Bernard are set to split. It is thought that the divorce petition has already been filed citing unreasonable behaviour as the grounds for the divorce.

The breakdown of a marriage is a distressing episode for many couples, but this may be compounded for Cheryl as it appears that no Pre-Nuptial Agreement was entered into prior to the marriage.

It was after a whirlwind romance of just three months that the couple were lawfully married in a secret ceremony.  Given such a short relationship however it would have been a wise move for Cheryl to require Jean-Bernard to enter into a Pre-Nup, just in case the future was not as rosy as expected.  Obviously, as a major superstar, Cheryl brought considerably more assets to the relationship than her husband given her lucrative deal with L’Oreal, her role as a judge on The X Factor as well as her career in the music industry.   It is estimated that Cheryl has assets worth approximately £20 million and this figure is likely to be significantly dented by the financial settlement on the divorce.

Whilst the brevity of the marriage set against the inequality of contribution (in terms of the capital introduced into the marriage by each) make it unlikely that JB will succeed in achieving anywhere close to a 50% split of the parties assets on divorce, Cheryl will still be facing a substantial financial “hit”.  This is something that she could otherwise have minimised by some careful and considered planning in advance of the marriage with the assistance of a specialist Solicitor.  In this regard Pre-Nuptial Agreements, if carefully and reasonably drafted in a bespoke manner, do work.

Even if blinded by love in the first flush of the relationship, it would still have been possible (always assuming JB were willing at that stage) to enter into a Post-Nuptial Agreement after the wedding which would have afforded the same protection to Cheryl as would a Pre-Nuptial Agreement.

Good legal advice may be deemed an unnecessary and cynical expense when sourcing the wedding dress, the perfect venue and the ultimate wedding cake, but for those with significant assets (including contingent assets such as likely future inheritance or interests in family businesses), such a forethought is vital and could well prove the best wedding present you could give yourself.

To speak to a member of our specialist Family Team today about either a Pre-Nuptial or Post-Nuptial Agreement, divorce or any other family issue please call us on 0161 930 5151.

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