Scarlett Johansson baby dilemma raises concerns over international prenups, say QualitySolicitors
Couples with different nationalities need to tread carefully when it comes to a prenuptial agreement to avoid separation from future children should the marriage fail, says QualitySolicitors, a network of UK law firms in over 100 locations.
The warning from specialist family lawyers within the network comes as reports emerge that Avengers film star Scarlett Johansson, who appears in the new Captain America film, has allegedly been asked to sign a prenup by her fiancé Romain Dauriac which would require Johansson to seek his written permission to take their future child out of France should the child be born there.
Angela Lally from QualitySolicitors says that while both parties have to agree before the prenup becomes effective it raises issues around international marriages that couples should iron out before tying the knot.
Angela says: "Today, international borders are no barrier to two people falling in love and getting married. Although a prenup can seem unromantic at a time which is an important period in a couple's relationship, it helps identify what needs to happen should things go wrong in future. That carries even more importance when there is an international element to the relationship. If Scarlett wants to go back to America with her child she will need his written consent and if the relationship has broken down this may not be possible, meaning she would have to leave the child behind.
"It's hard to have to think about the possibility of something going wrong when a couple are planning their future together, but as Scarlett and Romain are showing, all eventualities need to be considered, otherwise you could get a situation where a mother is separated from her child. Without looking to get a prenup they would not have identified this issue.
"An international prenup can cover other eventualities too, such as property ownership.
"Like Scarlett, many soon to be spouses will not have to sign the prenup if they do not like the terms. It is a document based on agreement."
QualitySolicitors says that while prenups are not for everyone, things can get messy without one when things go wrong and there have been many cases of children being abducted and taken overseas by a disgruntled patent when the marriage has broken down.
QualitySolicitors says that although prenups are not yet enforceable in the UK, courts still use them for guidance in family disputes, while other countries do enforce them.
Angela says: "There is a misconception that prenups are for the rich and famous. That's not the case. They can be very helpful for any couple, especially when there are children involved."
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- Launched in 2010, QualitySolicitors is a group of law firms across the country working as part of the QualitySolicitors brand. Only one firm per local area is selected to become a QualitySolicitors partner. Customer feedback forms an integral part of the selection process.
- QualitySolicitors’ national network of lawyers consists of over 100 branches across England and Wales.
- QualitySolicitors lawyers are experts in their fields dealing with both consumer and SME legal matters. QualitySolicitors offers a personal, local service but with the assurance of a recognised national brand.
- QualitySolicitors’ website address is www.qualitysolicitors.com
- In 2011 QualitySolicitors secured equity investment from Palamon Capital Partners, a private equity house with a £700m fund.