You’re Not Megan Markle and He’s Not Prince Harry (or Vice Versa):
Even Though They Did Not, You Should Think About a Pre-Nuptial Agreement
And not to put too fine a point on it, but this is not the United Kingdom, either. Pre-nuptial agreements are still relatively new to the UK, only recently enforced by the courts, and still not commonly used, even among the “commoners.” What may be counter-intuitive is that a pre-nuptial agreement is likely to be a far better fit for a commoners’ marriages than it would have been for these royals (or for Prince William and Kate Middleton, who also do not have a pre-nuptial agreement). The Princes, it seems, do not have a great deal of their own property that might be subject to distribution in divorce. The crown jewels and all the trappings of wealth so evident in the life and lifestyle of the royal family are owned by the monarchy and held in trust for the nation.
Conversely, among us commoners here in Pennsylvania, which has long been favorable to the enforcement of properly done pre-nuptial agreements, they can be both practical and protective, without being distasteful or off-putting. When there are substantial separate assets held by one or both parties before they marry, and even if there are not, but through the course of the marriage the couple achieves great success or otherwise acquires substantial assets, entering into a pre-nuptial agreement can also mean avoiding difficult and expensive litigation in the event the marriage does dissolve. Increasingly too, pre-nuptial agreements are becoming more creative in addressing issues that are not strictly financial and that may actually work to strengthen the bonds of the marriage. Preparing such comprehensive and creative plans is not to foreshadow terminating the marriage and the old-school rap on pre-nuptial agreements, that they are inherently “un-romantic” is rapidly giving way to a new understanding and appreciation of them.
It is well-established that an element of successful, long-term marriages is that the couple understands and discusses their finances. How much better is it then, to enter into that conversation and establish that understanding at the point when both parties are most in love and committed to the eternity of the marriage? The same can be said (and might well be done by way of post-nuptial agreement) for happily married couples, not contemplating divorce at all. The frank discussion and mutual understanding of finances and of what will happen should circumstances change in the future can be comforting in the stable and happy circumstances of the present. After that, the worst that can happen is that the agreement (pre or post-nuptial) will become helpful and effective in making divorce easier, and the best that can happen is that no lawyer or judge will ever see it again at any time or for any reason.
Those not marrying (or married to) a member of the royal family, may want to consider the benefits of seeing a lawyer to create a document that will never be used again, not to mention the benefits that document will provide if it is used again,
To schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys or for further information, call us at the Law Office of Gregory P. LaMonaca, P.C., at (610) 892-3877