It has been many years since a wedding has garnered as much attention as the impending nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
In light of the high profile nature of this union, and Harry’s parents’ own acrimonious divorce, it may come as a surprise to many that the Prince is rumoured to have declined to enter into a Prenuptial Agreement. Regularly we hear about celebrity couples divorcing and more often than not the ones that make the headlines are bitterly fought and did not feature a Prenuptial Agreement. Whilst it may seem inappropriate to compare a Royal wedding to that of a Hollywood superstar, a popstar or the latest round of reality TV stars – the law that governs marriage and divorce in this country is, at the end of the day, the same regardless of status or title.
It must of course be remembered that Prenuptial Agreements are not legally binding in England & Wales but following a string of high profile case law in recent years do carry more weight than before. A Family Lawyer being consulted on a union involving the sums Harry and Meghan are estimated to be worth is likely to always recommend a Prenuptial Agreement is entered into.
The subject of Pre-Nups in this country is still surrounded by some taboo. The prospect of a legal document which addresses some of the issues which may arise were the unfortunate ever to happen sits uneasy with many. Put simply, a Prenuptial Agreement provides a degree of certainty for the parties and goes some way towards trying to avoid an acrimonious divorce if matters were to unravel later down the line. What can seem cold and unromantic to some could also be considered nothing more than prudent financial planning in a country where 42% of marriages end in divorce. Further, the costs of preparing a Prenuptial Agreement for many will be far less than the likely costs involved in a bitter and contested divorce.
Even if parties decide against entering into a Prenuptial Agreement they still have the option of instead entering into a Postnuptial Agreement after the union. Again, this can provide parties with another layer of protection should the marriage ever break down.
It goes without saying that we share the hope that Harry and Meghan’s story ends with “and they lived happily ever after”….
Article written by Eloise Down