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Why don’t ultra-wealthy people all have prenups?

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2019 | Property Division |

Adele’s heartfelt music has brought a lot of joy to her fans — but nobody’s life is perfect. Because she and her husband seemed like a happy couple, the news of their divorce created a storm of media stories.

So did the news that the couple didn’t have a prenuptial agreement. That put Adele among the ranks of the super-rich — like Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder — who didn’t seem to have ever anticipated a divorce.

Why doesn’t every person among the super wealthy have a prenup in place? Don’t they realize how much is at stake?

It isn’t always that simple. While about 15% of divorced couples admit that they wish they’d had a prenup, only about 5% of couples ever get them. Here’s why some ultra-rich people end up without them:

1. They weren’t wealthy when they got married.

Take Jeff Bezos, for example, Amazon didn’t take off the ground and make a fortune until after he was married. When a couple gets together while one or both is still trying to “make it” in their chosen profession, they may not envision a future with wealth — but without their spouse.

2. It seemed impractical at the time of the marriage.

Hand-in-hand with the reason listed above is the fact that it costs money to do a prenup correctly. If a couple hasn’t got a lot of money when they say, “I do,” they may see the expense of a prenup as unnecessary.

3. They feel like it’s an admission of potential failure.

This issue may be tied directly into the psyche of people who ultimately make it large in their profession. Asking for a prenup may be a little too much like accepting the idea of failure — which isn’t something that a lot of successful people know how to do.

Prenups have been losing their stigma over the last few decades as more entrepreneurs seek them. However, it’s always possible to negotiate a postnuptial agreement if you want to protect your interests in a divorce.


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