Britney’s Conservatorship and Prenuptial Agreements

Meera Shinh
Author:
Meera Shinh
Senior Associate Solicitor, Family Law
Date:
20/09/2021

Britney Spears has been in the news a lot recently, from the allegations of an abusive conservatorship she has been trying to end, to getting engaged to long term boyfriend Sam Asghari.

The two things have coincided and both actors and fans alike have called out for Britney to enter into a prenup to protect her assets. But will she enter into one and what does a prenuptial agreement provide in terms of protection?

Obviously, the law around the legal status of prenups in America differs to the law here and if it were being looked at in England or Wales, there’s lots to think about.

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is a written agreement between two people, entered into before marriage. It sets out the division of assets if your marriage were to end.

Whilst these agreements are not legally binding in England and Wales, if they are made correctly they can be upheld in Court. Certain criteria need to be met in order for a prenuptial agreement to be considered fair, and for the Court to be persuaded that you should be held to what you agreed.

Make Sure a Prenuptial Agreement is Fair

To make sure a prenuptial agreement can be upheld in Court, it needs to be prepared accurately and fair in all circumstances. Certain criteria should be met which will go some way in persuading the Courts:

    1. Make sure you have both provided full financial disclosure all of your assets
    2. There must be no pressure or duress on either person to sign the agreement
    3. The agreement should be fair and reasonable
    4. The agreement must be entered into at least 28 days before the date of the marriage
    5. The agreement should be drafted by a Family Law Solicitor and both of you should get independent legal advice

We have written more about the validity of prenuptial agreements here.

But Aren’t They Totally Unromantic?

In some countries prenups are far more common than they are here, and are seen as a perfectly normal part of wedding planning. Prenup negotiations don’t have to be contentious or difficult, and for many they can give you reassuring peace of mind.

If press reports are right, it seems both Britney and her husband-to-be plan on having a prenup. Prenups are certainly much more common for the rich and famous, and those who are entering into a marriage with money they had before the relationship or marriage. Or possibly, like Britney, you may want to make sure your finances are protected for your children in the future.

But they are not only for the wealthy or Hollywood stars and popstars.

Prenups are a safe way to protect assets that you bring into the marriage or to ensure family inheritance is ring-fenced.

Conservatorship, Capacity and Prenuptial Agreements

Britney has recently spoken out about ending the conservatorship that has been in place since 2008. The conservatorship gave her father both financial control over her estate and control over other aspects of her life.

As any follower of the story will know, Britney has made numerous allegations about the impact that it has had on her and her life, and has sought to bring the arrangement to an end. Whether or not she is successful remains to be seen, as the proceedings apparently continue.

The laws on conservatorship in the UK and in America differ greatly. The situation Britney found herself in, being controlled both on a personal level and financially would have been treated in a completely different way within England and Wales.

We have written more about Britney’s conservatorship.

The question then arises that if Britney’s conservatorship does not end then what does this mean for her ability to enter into a prenup?

The areas of law governing capacity to enter into prenuptial agreements in this country is complicated.

There is distinction between having capacity to get married and entering into a prenuptial, which deals with a person’s financial affairs. You should seek specialist legal advice if you are in this situation.

Please contact us if you would like more information on prenuptial agreements or have any concerns with having the capacity to do so.

For initial legal advice call our Family Law and Divorce Solicitors

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