Friday, November 19, 2010
Let's add to the media frenzy surrounding Kate & William's engagement by pointing out that it has brought much attention to the English premarital agreement, which is entering a new era of enforceability in the UK.
From Business & Law:
Britain's Prince William and his long-time girlfriend Kate Middleton ended speculations about their future by announcing their engagement on Tuesday but triggered a new speculation over whether the couple will opt for a prenuptial agreement.
To date, no member of the British royal family has signed a prenuptial agreement but William and Kate could set a royal precedence.
According to divorce and family law experts, a prenuptial agreement would make William and Kate be seen as a modern couple and would help avoid a lot of unnecessary headache and heartache later.
Last month, the U.K. Supreme Court, in a landmark ruling, swept away hundreds of years of legal precedent that a married couple should be together for life and their property should be shared, by saying that prenuptial agreements are enforceable under British divorce law.
The court had ruled against Nicolas Granatino, a former investment banker who had challenged a prenuptial agreement he signed with German heiress Katrin Radmacher.
Court President Lord Phillips said that the law cannot prevent a couple deciding how to arrange their affairs should they come to live apart. The court said that all English courts should follow its precedence and after its ruling "it will be natural to infer that parties entering into agreements will intend that effect be given to them."
However, Lord Phillips also said that prenuptials will not be legally binding in all circumstances and the courts would still have the discretion to waive any pre- or postnuptial agreement, especially when it was unfair to any children of the marriage.
UK is known as the "divorce capital of Europe."
Read more here.