The wedding of the heir to the British family Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle is scheduled for May this year. Recently, the media learned that the prince followed the example of his older brother William and refused to conclude a marriage contract with his future wife. Even despite the fact that his fortune is estimated at 54 million dollars, and his future wife - at 7. The lawyers of the royal palace initially insisted on signing the contract, but later they still agreed with the prince. Prince Harry is confident that the marriage with his future wife will be strong, so they do not need a contract.
Until 1882, all property in England was owned by the husband, including that which belonged to his wife before marriage. But the development of capitalism led to the fact that the principles of "common law" were contrary to the interests of the upper classes, in connection with which the English Parliament approved the Law on the Property of Married Women. The woman received the right to independently dispose of her property and bequeath property to someone at her will. Today, in some European countries, a marriage contract has become not just a popular document that citizens draw up, but even a prerequisite for a marriage.
In Russia, the marriage contract is still the prerogative of wealthy people, and ordinary Russians more often find out about marriage contracts from the press. Often, unusual and sometimes even amazing conditions for living together and divorce are spelled out there.
For example, the contract between the actors Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas stipulates that the couple must have sex at least three times a week, and this despite the actor's considerable age (now he is 73 - ed.). And for the betrayal of a spouse, the second receives 5 million dollars. In addition, in the event of a divorce, Michael Douglas is obliged to pay Jones $ 2.8 million for each year of marriage. I must say, despite all the difficulties and Douglas' disease (laryngeal cancer - ed.), The couple have been living together for 18 years.
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The details of Madonna's marriage contract with her ex-husband Guy Ricci turned out to be even more interesting. In accordance with them, Ricci was supposed to read books about the Kabbalah and engage in the spiritual enrichment of the Madonna. In addition, in the event of a quarrel, Ricci had no right to insult his wife.
Under the terms of the contract between Nicole Kidman and Keith Urbana, the spouse is obliged to pay her husband $ 640,000 for each drug-free year. The most interesting thing is that she offered such conditions to him herself. Urban, who was previously addicted to cocaine, no longer used drugs.
But Kidman's ex-husband Tom Cruise with his second wife Katie Holmes entered into a marriage contract that was not at all encouraging. There were as many as 900 points in the document. Holmes pledged to agree with everything that her husband says, never discuss the topic of homosexuality, maintain a happy atmosphere in the family, and if a messenger arrives from space from space and calls Tom, Holmes is obliged to go with her husband. As a result, the spouse lived with the actor for only 5 years, and after the divorce, she received almost nothing.
In turn, billionaire Bill Gates prescribed in the marriage contract the right to cheat once a year. If the limit is exceeded, then Gates must pay his wife $ 20 million. And $ 10 million for every child born.
In Russia, the number of marriage contracts is growing, although it is still negligible - the share of marriages with a contract is only 4% of the total. Interestingly, after the Russians learned that a prenuptial agreement can be concluded not only before marriage, but also during marriage and even during the divorce proceedings, such contracts became especially popular, lawyer Ekaterina Dukhina told MIR 24.
“In Russia, the conclusion of a marriage contract often occurs at a time when the family is experiencing the first or second crisis. The spouses are sure that with the help of such a tool it is possible to get rid of domestic fears associated with the loss of property, or to insure the weak half against possible claims of third parties - the husband's business creditors or claims from the state in relation to property that has long been registered in the wife's name,” - says the expert.
When it comes to such cases, the marriage contract, of course, is good, the lawyer said. “Or when we talk about cases when marriage contracts are signed immediately before divorce, and within the framework of this document, all the spouses' rights in relation to the division of marital property are regulated. Such an agreement is notarized, after which the husband and wife no longer need to go to court, arrange bloody battles for the division of property, since they agreed on everything on the shore. The so-called peaceful settlement of the relationship between spouses, which takes place in their life together before divorce. It is advisable when there is a dialogue between the spouses and the hope for common sense is not lost, when people want to come to an agreement and live peacefully,”notes Ekaterina Dukhina.
At the same time, according to the lawyer, Russians who have entered into a marriage contract are getting divorced more often. Perhaps the fact is that in this case there is no fear of the unknown.
“A marriage contract concluded before registering a marriage is not good, since it is alien to the Russian mentality. When concluding a marriage contract, a community of property is not created. There are no connections that would unite the family. Therefore, such marriages break up quite often. On the one hand, there seemed to be no property claims to each other, on the other hand, feelings gradually fade away,”added Dukhina.
Marriage contracts have long been the norm in Europe and the United States. However, celebrities are the best choice for contract items.
“My favorite moments are fines for cheating. For example, consider the case of Elin Nordegren and Tiger Woods. The wife received 80 million more in the divorce process, because her husband systematically cheated on her in marriage. Obviously, the betrayal was given to him dearly, but for them he completely atoned for his guilt. Practically indulgence. Mark Zuckerberg has a good deal. It stipulates that Mark is required to go out with his own wife at least once a week to maintain the feelings of the marriage. Otherwise, each of the parties will have to pay each other a substantial fine,”says Dukhina.
In addition, you can cite the example of the contract between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. “Firstly, its size is striking - more than a hundred pages. Secondly, it details all the characteristics of the parties on vacation. Even the issue of nutrition in the presence of each other was resolved in great detail - some of them did not eat cereals, and the second spouse had to also refrain from eating cereals in the presence of the other half. Russian marriage contracts do not imply such liberties, since such details are specified in separate agreements. And even if we wanted to create such an agreement, such norms in it would be invalid,”the expert said.
But the lawyer called the decision of Princes Harry and William not to conclude contracts populist, designed to support the image of the crown.
“The English courts have an extremely interesting attitude towards rich men, and often the marriage contracts of such men do not save them from ruin. Therefore, the fact that both princes did not enter into marriage contracts with their wives does not indicate their innate nobility, but that they are well aware of the situation in their own kingdom. Of course, the divorce of any of the princes with a bloody division of property, to put it mildly, would not be in favor of the crown.Therefore, their decisions can be considered populist, based on raising the image of the crown,”she said.
Note that in 2017, archaeologists from the University of Turkey found on the territory of their country a clay tablet with a "marriage contract" concluded in the Assyrian Empire 4 thousand years ago. It says that if a couple cannot conceive a child within two years of marriage, then they use a slave woman as a surrogate mother.
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