Cheryl Cole and Liam Payne announced this week that their relationship has come to an end. But where does this leave them?
Cheryl and Liam are rumoured to have married in 2016 and have a child together; Bear who is just over a year old. Despite the “Fight for This Love” singer Cheryl already having 2 failed marriages, they appear to have not filed a pre-nuptial agreement. With Liam’s worth at £42.7 million and Cheryl’s worth being at £28.7 million, was this wise on Liam’s part not to insist upon a pre-nuptial agreement?
Pre-nuptial agreements are a formal written agreement that set out each party’s assets and how they will be divided in the event of the breakdown of their marriage. They are not binding by the courts but are given considerable weight, unless they are deemed unfair or a product of undue influence.
Without a pre-nuptial agreement in place and no agreement made, the matter of finances is left to the courts to decide.
When dividing up assets the court’s starting point is 50/50 known as the ‘yardstick of equality’, however, the law says that there can be a departure from 50/50, if needs require it. With Cheryl and Liam only having been married approximately 2 years, this would be deemed as a short marriage and will be considered as a factor when considering the division of assets. Within short marriages, the courts try to place the parties back in the position that they were in before they were married. However, although a short marriage, other considerations will also be taken into account when departing from the yardstick of equality. These are Cheryl and Liam’s child, Bear; Liam’s financial contributions; and Cheryl’s contributions in raising the family.
Cheryl and Liam will also need to consider arrangements for Bear. At present Cheryl appears to be the main carer. It is unclear at this point what future arrangements are in store for Liam’s contact with Bear. If they are unable to agree on contact arrangements, parties are encouraged to use mediation. However, if an agreement cannot be found in mediation, Liam can file a Child Arrangements application to the Family Court, to determine the contact he should have with Bear.
It isn’t just celebrities that find themselves in these situations. If you need any advice in relation to divorce, financial orders, child arrangements orders or pre-nuptial arrangements, our Family Law department will be able to assist you.