Celebrity Lawyer on the Power of Prenups

By: Keith Wagstaff · May 09, 2024 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

Divorce Lawyer to the Stars

Even though Laura Wasser, dubbed “the divorce lawyer to the stars” by The New Yorker, has represented Brittany Spears, Angelina Jolie, and Kim Kardashian, she has plenty of advice for people who aren’t celebrities.

She recently went on SoFi’s YouTube series Richer Lives, where she talked to Brian Walsh, SoFi’s Head of Advice and Planning, and financial literacy advocate Vivian Tu, aka Your Rich BFF, about prenups and divorces.

“I hate to make it unromantic,” Wasser said, but getting married is “a contractual obligation.”

A prenup can sound scary. But ultimately, it can encourage communication and even bring couples closer together.

It’s All About Communication

First, let’s define a prenup. It’s short for prenuptial agreement — a legally binding document that lists each partner’s assets and how those would be divided in the case of divorce or the death of a spouse.

“Talking about something as touchy as a prenup can be really challenging,” Tu said. But when she talked with her partner about their finances before getting married, she actually felt closer to him. He wasn’t offended at all.

“I was like, ‘Wow, okay, like maybe I am marrying the right person,’” she said.

“It’s a huge weight off once you have that conversation,” Wasser said, noting that “communication builds intimacy.”

Walsh added, “you’re entering a contract. This is a way to force communication that you should be having in a relationship anyway.”

How to Approach a Prenup

When it comes to talking with your partner about a prenup, Wasser recommends the earlier, the better.

“A prenup scribbled on the back of a cocktail napkin that you were using to hold your drink on the night of the rehearsal dinner, that’s not going to fly,” Wasser said. States require that both parties have time to read and understand the contract, in some cases with legal counsel.

Carefully vetting your lawyer beforehand is important. You want to “feel comfortable with that person,” Wasser said, especially since you’ll be digging into your personal finances and discussing emotional topics.

And while you can put all kinds of demands in a prenup, they might not hold up in court.

“I had a woman say to me, ‘I’ve been living with him for two years, he does not put the [toilet] seat down, he does not put the cap back on the toothpaste, I want this in the [prenup],” said Wasser. “I was like, ‘I can’t do that.’”

Check out the entire interview with Laura Wasser on SoFi’s Richer Lives below.

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