Stowe Family Law’s International Family Law department is as busy as ever, and we have also seen a steady rise in the number of enquiries about prenuptial agreements. This, I believe, has been prompted – at least in part – by last year’s ruling in the Radmacher v Granatino case, which involved an agreement made between a German heiress and her banker husband.
David Charter, Europe Correspondent at The Times, contacted me to ask for thoughts on another landmark ruling in a German case. The story appears in today’s newspaper.
German ordered to repay house deposit to his in-laws after divorce
It is not just the grasping ex that Germans must contend with during a divorce. Now it is the in-laws as well.
Judges in Berlin yesterday ordered a man who kept the family home to pay back a gift of €29,000 (£25,000) from his in-laws that had helped the couple buy the house.
The ruling by the Federal Court of Justice has been interpreted as a landmark judgment which could allow in-laws to reclaim presents given to their child’s spouse if the marriage breaks down.
Judges said that the “contractual basis” of such presents depended on the in-laws’ child being able to enjoy the fruits of the gift. That basis no longer applied after a divorce.
“If the child benefits from the gift for a long period of time (for example if the couple lives together in a house donated by the in-laws), then only a part of the gift must be paid back,” the judges said in their ruling. Continue reading»