Do I Need a Prenup?

Premarital Agreement (prenup) and eye glasses

Beyoncé and Jay Zee had a prenup.  So did Lamar and Khloe, but do you need one?  Prenups are not for everyone.  Prenups are drafted to protect wealth. Unless you have wealth or expect to be wealthy, it is not worth the expense and emotional cost.  The emotional cost of a prenup is a factor that most people entering into a prenup must address. Prenups can be ice water on romance if not handled properly by the attorneys on both sides.  The person on the receiving end will think — even if they will not say it — “So, you don’t trust me.”  Getting beyond that impediment to striking a deal is tricky.  A bad prenup negotiation can fester in a marriage like an open wound.  If the prenup negotiation is going to be successful the couple will have to address issues such as money, distrust, what each party will contribute to the marriage, and what are they worth.  Prenups are an opportunity to resolve these issues before marriage.

People enter into prenups for various reasons.  For younger people, often it is wealthy parents who want their children to have prenups to protect an inheritance or gift.  For older people entering into second marriages, they are protecting their children’s inheritance.  There are also wealthy women and men marrying dependent spouses who want to opt out of the marital property laws and limit their exposure to alimony.

Prenups are powerful.  Despite the urban legend that implies they will not be enforced, they are binding if well drafted.  If you are likely to inherit wealth or have wealth, are a business owner, or if you have children from a prior marriage, consider entering into a premarital agreement.  We have decades of experience negotiating and drafting prenuptial agreements.  In addition to protecting and preserving wealth, we will handle the negotiations with sensitivity and care in recognition that the integrity of the relationship must be preserved. Call Peter M. Walzer for a consultation at (818) 591-3700.