Sandy Williams, a businesswoman from London who has built up a property portfolio and two companies, talked to The Guardian about drawing up a prenup for her second marriage: “My partner’s reaction to the idea of a prenup was positive as he knows that I am not planning to leave him with nothing, but rather the opposite. I’m planning for his future in the event of a break-up.”
We talked to Mari LaScala and Sarah Levy, founders of Divorce Concierge Service, a business that helps simplify the divorce process by clarifying the laws and the routes to divorce. They said getting a prenup was one of the smartest business decisions a woman can make. “Prenups are a very economical and smart tool. It alleviates a lot of the problems that come out in divorces,” said Sarah. She noted that 50% of marriages end in divorce. “It simply outlines that whatever you earn is kept in your own name. If one of them does become super successful that money is kept seperate. It can be very useful for people who want to start their own business.”
And prenups aren’t neccessarily for women who have already made a ton of money in their careers. Prenups can be a very smart move for ambitious professional women, especially those who plan to start their own company down the line. “People in their 20′s [who are getting married] may not have that much money at this point but people grow with their careers. If you think you are going to be successful and your husband does as well then this ensures that anything you make you walk away with and so does he. It is just really smart to do this,” said Mari.
Look at Katy Perry, for example. Because she didn’t sign a prenup, her ex-husband Russell Brand had the rights to half of what she was worth ($44 million) when they divorced. Their 14 months of marriage coincided with Katy’s most successful career achievements. During that time, she had five number one hits on the singles charts and was on the road for most of the year on her sold-out California Dream tour. She couldn’t have predicted her exact success but as an already profitable singer she should have her fortune protected.
According to a survey from Scottish Widows, over half of people (56%) yet to be married would consider a prenuptial agreement. Of these, 12% saw a prenup as a way of securing financial independence, while 5% saw them as a way to ensure partners didn’t get their hands on their money.
Mari said people go into marriages so romantically but people really need to be realistic and understand that this is a business decision and a prenup is an important tool. “Marriage dissolves into a business decision,” said Sarah. “It is 100% practical and it has nothing to do with love and romance. Prenups create more certainty and it will also protect us from each other’s debts. I deeply love my partner and we are devoted to each other. I worked extremely hard for my money and my partner appreciates my intentions,” Williams told The Guardian.
Mari said prenups have this very pejorative reputation but they should actually be looked at as a positive. Sarah thinks they will definitely become more of a trend in the next 20 years. Women should not go into asking for a prenup thinking they are betting against their marriages. Alexa said partners should think of it as a way to protect them both in a worst-case scenario. She believes it’s best to discuss the prospect when both parties are sober and relaxed. A Saturday afternoon would be a great time, she recommends. And, she cautions, even if you do it just right, talking about a prenup is going to be difficult. But the more women — and men — talk openly about money issues, the more comfortable it will be for everyone. “Getting married is the biggest investment decision of your life. It is not going to be an easy discussion.”
A prenup does not necessarily mean you have made an inordinate amount of money at a young age but what it does mean is that you are thinking with a business mind and have very high hopes for your career. A prenup simply means you want to protect your future.