Harry and Meghan should have a prenup, say lawyers

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Nov 28, 2017
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An agreement would enable the couple to access more of Harry’s wealth, according to one lawyer

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle should have a prenuptial agreement, divorce lawyers said yesterday.

The consensus was that the agreement would be in both of their interests, given that Meghan was giving up a career and that Prince Harry had access to large sums of money in trusts that would be at risk on divorce.

Toby Yerburgh, partner and head of family law at Collyer Bristow, said: “In Prince Harry’s case, a prenuptial agreement is absolutely vital. It’s clearly in the best interests both of the royal family and Harry and Meghan themselves.”

“There will always be concerns that in case of any future divorce, royal assets could end up being lost. Any prenup will prevent that from happening.”

He added: “That isn’t the only reason for a prenup. Most of Harry’s wealth will be held in trusts, and the trustees will be much more likely to allow Harry and Meghan access to more of it if they know that it will stay in the royal family for future generations.

“This would benefit Meghan, given that her ability to work may be curtailed once she is married. That is a significant change for someone who has been well-remunerated in her career to date.”

“A prenup doesn’t mean a lack of trust, a lack of love, or that your fiancé is already thinking about the possibility of divorce before you’re even married. A well-drafted prenup can actually strengthen a marriage, as potential issues are settled equitably before they have the chance to arise.”

Hannah Field, solicitor at Russell-Cooke, said that the couple’s personal status was unique and it would be “sensible for them to consider one at least.

“A prenup says how things should be dealt with in the unfortunate event of the breakdown of their marriage. Whilst it isn’t the most romantic thing to be considering on announcing an engagement, it is certainly a sensible one.”

Such agreements are commonplace in the US and increasingly popular in the UK. They are not binding, although they are given significant weight by the courts if entered into without duress, or pressure, and both parties have taken legal advice.

The Times is calling for prenuptial agreements to be given statutory backing as part of its campaign to reform family laws.

Hetty Gleave: There’s no shame in Harry and Meghan getting a prenup

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