When Prince Harry asked Meghan Markle to marry, many dreamed of her fairytale wedding. Grizzled divorce attorneys thought of something else: what kind of royal prenup would his Highness make her sign. Surprisingly, some think none.
That’s right. Some people in Great Britain are speculating that Ms. Markle and Prince Harry may not sign a pre-nuptial agreement before their royal wedding next Spring. Why not?
According to the Britain’s Daily Express, for instance, the 33-year-old prince would not take the steps to protect his £30 million fortune after his engagement to the US actress was announced by making her sign a royal prenup.
History of Royal Prenups
Many would have said anyone in their position should be advised to have royal prenup. And the reason being is so they can resolve financial matters between themselves without it being in the spotlight.
There is precedent among the Royals too. For instance, when Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden married her former fitness instructor, agreements were drawn up to define how the wealth would be divided should they separate.
Lawyers acting for the princess ensured that all property, inheritance and gifts belonging to the royal household remained in her name alone. A royal prenup may be required to do that.
After Prince William’s engagement to Kate Middleton was announced, many urged the couple to sign a prenuptial agreement, saying it was important to be practical and ensure that every future eventuality was considered.
Florida Prenuptial Agreements
I’ve written on the topic of prenuptial agreements before. A prenuptial agreement is called many things: sometimes “antenuptial agreement”, other times “premarital agreement”, or most often “prenups”.
A prenup is a legal contract, much like any other legal contract, and it is entered into before a marriage by the couple intending to marry. So, why have one?
The contents of prenuptial agreements can vary widely. However, prenups commonly include clauses that spell out how to divide property accumulated before and after the marriage, and support or alimony in the event of divorce or death.
There are times when a prenup is a “must-have”. For example, when one person enters the marriage with significantly more money or assets than the other, or you want to keep parts of your finances separate.
Arguments about money are a known predictor of divorce. In order to avoid that, it is better to discuss with each other the terms of a prenuptial agreement when times are good.
Prenups can also have extreme clauses. For example, prenups can include provisions to cover you in the event your spouse engages in excessive drug use, has extra-marital affairs, becomes an excessive spender, or begins a gambling habit.
Future Royal Prenup?
With the British Supreme Court having recognized the validity of prenups, a debate has begun in British legal circles as to whether it would have been prudent for the royal couple to have taken advantage by having a royal prenup, just in case.
Prenuptial agreements have been popular across the pond in the U.S. for many years, but were never part of British law. That is changing in the U.K. due to a relatively new case.
After a 2010 ground-breaking case in Britain, prenuptial agreements are now afforded heavy weight within the UK Family Court, unless considered to be unfair.
The British prenup case involved a German heiress and French investment banker. To help protect her £106 million fortune, the couple signed a prenup, which stated neither party would benefit financially if the marriage ended.
When the Judges found in favor of the Wife’s prenup, the case marked the first time that prenuptial agreements were recognized as enforceable under British divorce law.
Prenuptial agreements are not simply about money either. Kings, Queens, Princes and Princesses can also use prenups to ensure confidentiality is maintained after any unseemly split.
The U.K. Express article is here.