Prenups Are Wise With Large Assets

Dennis is recently divorced, and he wants to know how Dave feels about prenuptial agreements. Dave advises them only in unique situations.

QUESTION: Dennis in Birmingham is recently divorced, and he wants to know how Dave feels about prenuptial agreements. Dave advises them only in unique situations.

ANSWER: Generally speaking, when you go through a divorce, it hurts and it leaves scars. No legal document is going to make those scars heal. That’s a spiritual and emotional exercise. I want those scars healed, if I’m you, before I get married, so that I’m coming into the marriage as a whole person—not a wounded duck. I want her to be the same if she’s been through the same thing.

Obviously, if you’ve been burned, then you’re wise to be somewhat cynical. I think you take the proper amount of time to carefully analyze the courtship and make sure that this is the right person. Having done all of that with normal assets, I would avoid a prenup, because a prenup is a way of you acting like we don’t have to deal with all of these hurt places. And we do have to deal with hurt places.

Now, the exception that I have, whether you have ever been married before or not, on a prenup is if one of you has extreme assets. That would be like $2 million or up. If you’ve got that, then I would suggest a prenup, and I do that not because you might get burned but because when you start putting seven figures on things, you have the ability to attract some of the weirdest humans on the planet. You’ve got to protect yourself in those situations, and that shuts down some of the foolishness that goes on around these things. I would not do it with normal assets because not doing it forces you to make sure you’re whole and take the time to make sure the person you’re marrying is a good person. I wouldn’t do it unless you have substantial assets.

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