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Gabrielle Union ‘Demanded’ a Prenup from Dwyane Wade and Jeff Bezos Didn’t Have One. Why Experts Say You should Put the ‘Business’ Side of Marriage First.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z are among everyone’s top 10 power couples of America list, and fans are nervous anytime the word divorce or infidelity is mentioned along with their names. 

The Carters have been married since 2008, but very few couples have the same amount of stardom and wealth power that this billionaire couple brings to the table as individuals. Rumors about the details of their “marital contract” have been unconfirmed despite a fabricated article from German magazine Neon. It claimed if Beyoncé and Jay-Z separated, he would pay his wife $10 million and an additional $1 million for each year of their marriage after two years.

(Photo: Instagram @gabunion)

When actress Gabrielle Union married baller Dwyane Wade, she was the one who reportedly asked for a prenup.

“For this marriage… the biggest difference between this and the last marriage will be a prenup. At my insistence,” she said in an interview, The Blast reported. “When you have your own stuff, you don’t need to worry about anybody else’s stuff. So everyone should go into the relationship knowing I’m here for you and you’re here for me. And the reality is I’ve never seen Dwyane balance a checkbook. So… I gotta protect my stuff… That’s the wave of the future, protecting your stuff.”

Both Wade and Union have gone through messy divorces. Union’s first husband was NBA player Chris Howard, to whom she was married from 2001 to 2005.

Dwayne Wade and Siohvaughn Funches-Wade were married for eight years from 2002 to 2010, and met in high school. The couple have two children together, Zaire and Zaya,

Some think of prenups as a worst-case scenario to protect the money and assets they obtained prior to saying “I do,” to someone else. They help determine who gets what, who pays for what and how combined assets will be divided in the event that divorce becomes an option in the future.

Beyoncé is 40, and Jay-Z is 52 but according to the latest article from The New Yorker, younger Americans are preparing their own prenuptial agreements to protect their spouse from taking on their debt. 

In 2019, the world was shocked after Amazon CEO and billionaire Jeff Bezos, 58, and his wife, Makenzie, 52, announced they were getting a divorce after 25 years. Most were even more shocked to learn they did not have a prenup, which left his $137B net worth at stake. 

In a tweet shared in April 2019, Makenzie revealed that all of her interests were in The Washington Post and space exploration company Blue Origin. According to Bloomberg, the novelist received a 4 percent stake in Amazon worth $38.3 billion and a month later, she vowed to donate more than half of her fortune to philanthropy efforts.

The Amazon CEO, however, will remain one of the world’s wealthiest men, with a 12 percent stake worth $114.8 billion in the national online retailer company.

Separating finances can be messy, depending on how the divorce is handled but the location also plays a huge factor. The Bezos lived in Washington, a state with community property laws that presumes joint ownership of all joint assets obtained during their marriage. That means any assets acquired during the marriage will be split jointly, regardless of who buys what. 

In the Bezos case, a prenup might have overridden the community property law also practiced in Arizona, California, Texas, Nevada, Wisconsin, Idaho, Louisiana and New Mexico. However, states like Washington require each party to obtain their own lawyer and will only carry out a prenup if both spouses disclose their property and assets before signing. But prenups aren’t just for the wealthy. 

The Carters and Bezos are in the 40 to 50-plus age range, but according to the latest article from The New Yorker, younger Americans are preparing their own prenuptial agreements mainly to protect their spouse from taking on their debt. Many lawyers would suggest a brief waiting period between signing the prenup and actually getting married. 

A 2022 poll conducted by Harris Interactive found that nearly 40 percent of married or engaged people between the ages of 18 and 34 have signed prenups, while just 13 percent of those between 45 and 54 have done so. 

Elizabeth R. Carter, a law professor at Louisiana State University, believes “everyone that’s getting married should have a prenup,” as stated in her study on premarital agreements. 

Carter has taught community-property classes since 2010. In another study, she provided data that showed most couples that drafted a prenup route have been married before. But nearly a quarter of those were walking down the aisle for the first time. 

Other states that don’t follow community-property standards use an “equitable distribution” system. It means spouses get to choose what assets they want to combine together, but in the event of a divorce all shared property will be distributed “equitably,” based on the needs and the contributions of each partner. But it varies from state to state. 

According to The New Yorker, if one CEO enters a marriage that business doubles in value over time; in some states, the owner gets to keep all their earnings. That may differ, for example, for stay-at-home parents who typically forgo their wages for household labor and taking care of the children they’re parenting. 

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