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Court or Tribunal: 
Catchwords: Post-Nuptial Agreement, Pre-Nuptial Agreement
Judges:  Judge Demack

Background: The parties met over the internet in early to mid-2006. She was a 36 year old, born and living overseas with limited English skills. She was previously divorced, had no children and no assets of substance. He was a 67 year old, was a property developer and worth approximately $18 to $24 million. He was divorced from his first wife, with whom he had three children, now all in adulthood. Having met on a dating website in early to mid-2006, the parties then commenced speaking with each other on the telephone. They spoke in English and in (language omitted). The applicant agreed that the deceased said to her: “I will come to (country omitted) and we will see if we like each other. If I like you I will marry you but you will have to sign paper. My money is for my children.”  
  [Legal Issue]Both agreements were set-aside by the Court because the Court agreed that Ms Thorne signed the agreements because she was under duress. The Court found that Ms Thorne had no negotiating power at all. She fully understood the deceased's position, that she either sign or there would be no marriage. The husband did not negotiate on the terms of the agreement. He did not offer to negotiate. He did not create any opportunities to negotiate. The agreement, as it was, was to be signed or there would be no wedding. Without the wedding, there is no evidence to suggest that there would be any further relationship. Ms Thorne understood that if the relationship ended, she would have nothing. No job, no visa, no home, no place, no community. The consequences of the relationship being at an en   [Court Orders]The wife has been wholly successful in this hearing. The Court has found that both binding financial agreements, including the one prior to the wedding and the one after the wedding, being 26 September 2007 and 20 November 2007 respectively, are not binding upon the parties. Thus are are null and void. As such, both agreements have been set-aside and will not be followed as to the distribution of the estate of Mr Kennedy. The Court has set a new date to determine how much Ms Thorne can     

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