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'Career divorcee' withdraws her claim

Date:13 FEB 2008

Susan Crossley, who was seeking a share of her fourth husband's £45m fortune despite the existence of a robust pre-nuptial agreement, has withdrawn her claim on the eve of the court hearing.

Mrs Crossley had sought to question whether the pre-nuptial agreement was binding, on the grounds that Mr Crossley allegedly failed to disclose all his financial assets. She is already estimated to be worth £18 million from settlements she received from divorcing her previous three husbands.

But her case received a damaging blow in December when the Court of Appeal ruled that it is possible to short-circuit normal Court procedures when a financial claim in a divorce appears to be hopeless and there is a pre-nuptial agreement. Lord Justice Thorpe's Judgment outlined the view that 'prenups' are growing in importance in a fraught area of law.

The decision dismissed Mrs Crossley's appeal against a High Court decision which ruled that the facts of the case could be heard in a one day hearing, rather than following the usual procedures which entail three Court hearings and a delay of up to 18 months.

At the time Mr Crossley said: "This is a fair decision. I am upset that our marriage failed. Sadly, my wife is a career divorcee."

Her decision to abandon her claim will boost the status of pre-nuptial agreements.