Recently in the news, it has been confirmed that Ariana Grande and her husband Dalton Gomez are separating after being married for 2 years. However, reports have come out to confirm the terms of the pre-nuptial agreement (pre-nup) which was signed prior to their marriage. The pre-nup confirmed that Dalton would receive a payout of $1.25 million form Ariana’s estimated net worth of $240 million in lieu of any spousal support payments (known in England and Wales as spousal maintenance).

The details of the pre-nup

The documents confirm that the cash will be paid to Dalton, alongside $25k towards his legal fees and the sale and split of their $6 million LA home. Within their pre-nup, Dalton is also prohibited from releasing details of their lives and marriage and is prevented from doing any books or interviews which talk about their marriage. This clearly shows a joint intention between the parties at the time of their marriage but the question remains, would it stand in a UK court?

Are pre-nups ironclad?

A pre-nuptial agreement is a helpful tool in determining what should happen in the event of a divorce in the UK but it does not hold the same weight as it would in America.

When prepared correctly, following certain principles such as Independent Legal Advice, Financial Disclosure and timing issues, the courts are able to follow the terms of a pre-nup as they clearly demonstrate the intentions of the parties. However, the court is under no legal obligation to do so and they can deviate away from the terms agreed, particularly if upon reflection of the terms of the agreement, it is not considered to be fair.

Factors the court will consider

The starting point is that the couple will have entered into a pre-nup and be fully aware of what they were agreeing to and the financial consequences of their actions in agreeing to the terms. It is important for the court to determine that the following were adhered to at the time of the pre-nup being set out:

  • Each of the couple must understand the financial resources, income and liabilities involved. This requires each of them to disclose to the other what they own and what their assets are.
  • Neither of them must be placed under undue pressure to enter into the agreement. This requires that the agreement be prepared in good time before the marriage and that each person has time to consider it. Presenting a prenup to your partner on the eve of the wedding and telling him or her “sign here dear or the wedding is off” is understandably not an option.
  • Each of the couple should ideally take independent legal advice.

There should also be provisions for the pre-nup terms to be revisited on a regular basis and if there are any substantial changes to the parties’ circumstances, such as the birth of a child or a significant change in income.

The importance of professional legal support

Whilst not binding, the courts do look at pre-nuptial agreements and consider their contents and implications throughout the divorce process. As such, it’s important to take expert legal advice on the matter. The team at Gorvins have years of experience in dealing with the drafting of complex pre-nuptial agreements as well as advising those who have been presented one to sign from their partner.

To set up an initial consultation on your matter, call us on 0161 930 5151, email us at or fill in the online form.

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