Author: Rose Kinrade
The long anticipated engagement of HRH Prince Harry and Rachel Meghan Markle was announced by Clarence House via Twitter on Monday morning with the couple being at the centre of a media frenzy ever since.
With the wedding date set for May 2018 there will be a long list of arrangements to be made and organising to be done. One of the most important questions to be asked will be whether Harry and Meghan enter into a pre-nuptial agreement or not.
Harry and Meghan, who are independently wealthy, may choose to sensibly safeguard their respective assets and attempt to give some certainty in the event of separation and divorce.
No longer considered to be just for the Royals, the rich and the famous, any couple regardless of status, who bring personal or business assets to a marriage can benefit from a prenuptial and/or postnuptial agreement. Historically more popular in the USA, these agreements are becoming standard practice in the UK and the Isle of Man. They are regarded to be legally binding on a couple and can deal with what will happen to property which each person brings into the marriage and subsequently acquires during the course of the marriage.
Marriage is one of the biggest (and potentially most expensive) contracts a person can enter into. The conversation about prenuptial and postnuptial agreements doesn’t have to take away any of the romance from the marriage. Having an open and frank discussion about potential separation at the outset of the marriage may hopefully stimulate communication and compromise which should protect both parties should the worst happen.
Prenuptial agreements are entered into before marriage with the purpose of providing a framework for the division of a couples assets in the event of a divorce. Postnuptial agreements can be entered into by a couple at any stage after their marriage. Both types of agreement are becoming ever more present in the Manx Courts after the 2008 Manx case of MacLeod v MacLeod directed that such agreements are likely to be enforced by the Court during matrimonial proceedings.
By detailing how all assets are to be divided in the event of divorce both a prenuptial and postnuptial agreement can help limit the arguments and acrimony that can cause significant upset and affect negotiations later down the line.
If Harry and Meghan do choose to enter into a prenuptial agreement, this would simply be two people in love protecting themselves and their finances as sensible and responsible adults.
If you would like any information on the above or any other family matter, please contact Rose Kinrade. Rose has the expertise to advise upon and to prepare appropriate agreements depending on a couple’s circumstance. She can also assist across a broad range of family matters including divorce, separation, ancillary relief and cases involving children.