The Princess and the Pre-Nup

Posted on: November 27th, 2017

With the news breaking this morning that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are engaged, the big questions for family lawyers is not how big the ring is, but how big will the pre-nup be?  

With many individuals now entering into pre-nuptial agreements, commonly known as pre-nups, the law on this area is developing fast. Pre-nups are particularly important for parties wishing to protect family assets that were acquired before the marriage – something the Royal Family will be familiar with. Pre-nups can carry significant weight with the court, provided the following criteria are met.

  • The parties freely entered into the agreement.
  • The parties had a full appreciation of the implications of the agreement when entering it.
  • It is fair to uphold the agreement in the circumstances.

To satisfy this test both parties should:

  • Receive independent legal advice.
  • Exchange full disclosure of their respective finances.
  • Sign the agreement well in advance of the wedding.

Pre-nups will be a factor that the court will take into account when resolving financial issues on separation, and should be regularly reviewed with changes in circumstances.
With wedding bells set to chime in spring 2018, they had better get drafting…