Divorce and Prenups: How a Prenup May Help You and Your Business

In separate candidly revealing 2023 interviews, retired NBA superstar Dwayne Wade and actress Gabrielle Union both talked about the fact that they now split their finances 50/50, because they want to share everything equally. The discussions garnered headlines across media outlets and lots of attention on social media as well, highlighting the fact that such equal partnership in marriage is a hot topic these days.

Seeking Balance and Equality

Wade’s earnings from his basketball career totaled an estimated $200 million, and Forbes calculated that his endorsement deals off the court contribute another $17 million or so, per year. Union has acknowledged that when she was trying to make it in Hollywood, she often felt acute financial pressure to earn for herself and her family. She recently said that she can still be affected by what she described as a “scarcity mindset.” In many marriages, one partner has a higher net worth or earns more than the other, which can lead to feelings of insecurity or even resentment. To find a balance and avoid that discomfort, Wade and Union decided to split their finances right down the middle.

The Value of Prenuptial Agreements

Although they are already married, Wade has stated that he would gladly sign a prenup (postnup) with Union. Naturally, prenups need to be signed prior to marriage, which is why they are called “pre-nuptials.” However, many couples share Wade’s sentiments and realize that a prenup can help lessen or eliminate marital disagreements about such things as wealth and possessions.

Conflicts around finances are, after all, one of the main reasons that people get divorced. Prenups can also be incredibly worthwhile if you become divorced because the prenup can spell out exactly how your property and wealth are to be divided. That can simplify the process of reaching a divorce settlement, and potentially do so with significantly less acrimony, legal expense, and unwanted delays.

Prenups and Business Ownership

Prenups can also be an invaluable tool when it comes to owning businesses while going through a divorce. You may have put substantial amounts of time, labor, and money into establishing and building up a business. You may rightfully want and deserve to be rewarded for that investment and effort and not relinquish it to your spouse if you get divorced. A prenup can help you ensure that happens, by spelling out what happens to the business and its various assets in the event of a divorce. The prenup may also help you retain any pension or retirement benefits you are entitled to as an owner or employee of your own business. Another benefit of a prenup is that if your spouse owns a business that owes debts, your prenup may protect you from being responsible for those burdensome liabilities.

How you manage your wealth and assets is crucial. Overlooking that until you face the challenges of divorce can be a big mistake, both financially and in terms of the personal distress it can cause you. But a qualified divorce attorney can help you not just during the divorce, but ahead of time. They can help you craft a prenup before you’re married – with built-in safeguards to give both you and your partner extra reassurance and added peace of mind.


Karen Rosenthal

Karen B. Rosenthal is a partner and co-founder at matrimonial litigation firm Bikel Rosenthal & Schanfield LLP, where she brings 35 years of matrimonial law experience to bear in matters involving high-net-worth equitable distribution, contentious custody battles, and other high-stakes disputes. Certified as an Attorney for the Child and a frequent speaker on topics related to children going through high-conflict divorce, she has been recognized as a leading New York lawyer by Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers, Crain's New York Business magazine, and New York magazine.

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