Britney’s Preservation and Marriage Contracts
Britney Spears has been in the headlines a lot lately, allegations of abusive guardianship which she tried to end her engagement with her longtime boyfriend, Sam Asghari.
The two things coincided and cast and fans alike called on Britney to step into a wedding contract to protect his property. But is she going to make one and what does a prenuptial agreement offer in terms of protection?
Obviously the law regarding the legal status of marriage contracts in America differs from the law here and if it were considered in England or Wales there would be a lot to think about.
What is a prenuptial contract?
A prenuptial contract is a written agreement between two people, entered into before marriage. It defines the division of property if your marriage were to end.
Although these agreements are not legally binding in England and Wales, if concluded correctly they can be upheld in court. There are certain criteria that must be met for a prenuptial agreement to be considered fair and for the court to be persuaded that you should be bound by what you have agreed to.
Make sure a prenuptial contract is fair
To ensure that a prenuptial agreement can be confirmed in court, it must be prepared accurately and fairly under all circumstances. Certain criteria must be met, which will help convince the courts:
- Make sure you have both provided full financial disclosure of all your assets
- No pressure or coercion should be exerted on either person to sign the agreement.
- The deal must be fair and reasonable
- The agreement must be concluded at least 28 days before the wedding date
- The agreement must be drawn up by a Family lawyer and you should both get independent legal advice
We wrote more about the validity of prenuptial agreements here.
But aren’t they totally unromantic?
In some countries marriage contracts are much more common than here and are considered a perfectly normal part of planning a wedding. Prenuptial negotiations don’t have to be controversial or difficult, and for many, they can give you reassuring peace of mind.
If the press reports are correct, it appears that Britney and her future husband are planning to have a marriage contract. Marriage contracts are certainly much more common for the wealthy and famous, and for those who marry with the money they had before the relationship or marriage. Or maybe, like Britney, you might want to make sure your finances are protected for your kids in the future.
But they’re not just for rich or Hollywood stars and popstars.
Marriage contracts are a sure way to protect the assets you bring to the marriage or to ensure that the family inheritance is protected.
Custody, capacity and marriage agreements
Britney recently spoke about the end of the guardianship in place since 2008. The guardianship gave her father both financial control over his estate and control over other aspects of his life.
As any follower of the story knows, Britney made numerous claims about the impact this had on her and her life, and sought to end the arrangement. Whether or not she succeeds remains to be seen, as the procedure apparently continues.
Guardianship laws in the UK and America differ greatly. The situation Britney found herself in, being controlled both personally and financially, would have been treated in a completely different way in England and Wales.
We wrote more about Britney’s Guardianship.
The question then arises that if Britney’s guardianship does not end, what does that mean for her ability to enter into a marriage contract?
The areas of law governing the ability to enter into prenuptial agreements in this country are complex.
There is a distinction between having the capacity to marry and entering into a prenuptial contract, which deals with a person’s financial affairs. You should seek expert legal advice if you are in this situation.