Although these sorts of agreement are not automatically binding in this country, a properly drafted document on which both parties have legal advice and with financial disclosure attached, would be given weight in a future divorce.
So why should Harry and Meghan be signing up to a pre-nuptial agreement?
- A well drafted agreement can strengthen a marriage. Although discussions about pre-nuptial agreements are not necessarily easy, the fact that these thorny issues are broached before the ceremony can make a good foundation on which to start married life.
- Both parties are independently wealthy and therefore may want to protect the assets they are bringing in to the marriage. A pre-nuptial agreement must make fair provision for both parties in order for it to be legally binding.
- Their assets are complex. Harry in particular will hold the majority of his assets through trusts. An agreement would provide certainty for both parties if the marriage breaks down. In circumstances where one party has complicated assets such as business or trust assets, an agreement can avoid these assets being invaded on divorce.
- The agreement would be private. Neither Harry nor Meghan would want any publicity of their private affairs if their marriage breaks down. Harry in particular has seen his family suffer at the hands of the press and it is unlikely that he would want to go through anything similar.
- Pre-nuptial agreements are common in other countries. Meghan will therefore be familiar with the concept. It is increasingly common for international couples to enter into such agreements.
Samantha Hickman is a Partner at award-winning, Watford based law firm VWV. If you have any questions regarding Familly Law please contact Samantha Hickman or on 0117 314 5534.