[TQ v TR and Another Appeal [2009] 2 SLR(R) 961]

A prenuptial agreement cannot stand on its own. In exceptional cases, such as in this case, the Singapore Court of Appeal gave it significant (or even conclusive) weight.

However, this does not prevent court from scrutinising the contents of the prenuptial agreement.

While the court may give some weight to it though the interest and welfare of the children of the marriage and tend not to give significant weight to those terms in the prenuptial agreement that touch on issue of custody and maintenance for both wife and children. Those terms that contradict the provisions or legislative policy of the Women’s Charter would not be enforced.

TQ v TR and Another Appeal [2009] 2 SLR(R) 961

This case involves a prenuptial agreement between a Dutch Husband and a Swedish Wife made in Netherlands where each party had agreed to keep their own assets in a divorce. 2 important factors the Court took into consideration in giving the prenuptial agreement its full effect: a) both Husband and Wife were foreigners; and b) their choice of law governing the prenuptial agreement was Dutch law.

However, on the issue of division of matrimonial assets, court retains the ultimate power to order a “just and equitable” division regardless of the terms contained in the prenuptial agreement. The prenuptial agreement is merely one of the many other circumstantial factors that the court may take into account in exercising its powers under Singapore law which are largely contained in the Women’s Charter.