Unfortunately, rapper Dr. Dre and estranged wife Nicole Young filed for divorce earlier this year. The couple cited “irreconcilable differences” as the cause for the separation. However, the disputes have only continued since then. Now, Nicole has filed a lawsuit against Dre claiming that he transferred trademarks that the couple co-owned to another business. Additionally, Nicole asserts that the prenuptial agreement the couple signed before marriage is null and void. While the outcomes of the divorce have yet to unfold, Dre and Nicole’s current proceedings remind us of the importance of proper prenuptial agreements when filing for divorce.

The Problem With the Prenup

Nicole claims that the prenuptial agreement between her and her estranged husband is invalid for two reasons. First, Nicole insists that Dre pressured her into unwillingly signing the prenup. Further, she apparently signed the document “very shortly” before the marriage. Finally, Nicole also claims that Dre tore up the agreement a couple years after tying the knot. According to Nicole, both spouses understood that this symbolic destruction of the prenup implied a dissolution of the agreement.

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Validity Requirements for Prenuptial Agreements

California’s Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA) outlines validity requirements for prenuptial agreements. For example, according to the UPAA, a party must sign a prenuptial agreement voluntarily for the court to enforce it. Additionally, the party in question must have had a complete and accurate understanding of the other party’s financial situation. Furthermore, the signing individual must have had at least seven days following the presentation of the agreement to seek and hire legal counsel. More specifically, the UPAA outlines the following:

…it shall be deemed that a premarital agreement was not executed voluntarily unless the court finds in writing or on the record all of the following:

  • The party against whom enforcement is sought was represented by independent legal counsel at the time of signing the agreement or, after being advised to seek independent legal counsel, expressly waived, in a separate writing, representation by independent legal counsel. The advisement to seek independent legal counsel shall be made at least seven calendar days before the final agreement is signed.

AND one of the following:

  • …the party against whom enforcement is sought had not less than seven calendar days between the time that party was first presented with the final agreement and advised to seek independent legal counsel and the time the agreement was signed.

OR

  • The party against whom enforcement is sought, if unrepresented by legal counsel, was fully informed of the terms and basic effect of the agreement as well as the rights and obligations the party was giving up by signing the agreement… [as] memorialized in writing and delivered to the party prior to signing the agreement. The unrepresented party shall, on or before the signing of the premarital agreement, execute a document declaring that the party received the information required by this paragraph and indicating who provided that information.

What The Law Means for Nicole Young

According to Vanity Fair, San Francisco-based family law attorney Samantha Bley DeJean expects the court to hold a hearing discussing the validity of the prenuptial agreement. First of all, Nicole’s attorney currently lacks evidence of the dates on which 1) Dre presented the document to Nicole, and 2) she signed. Additionally, Nicole claims in her lawsuit filing that neither she nor her attorneys have obtained a copy of the agreement. If this is the case, the court cannot prove that the prenup ever existed; as a result, they may declare it null and void. Then, Nicole may receive 50% of the community property acquired during the marriage. This amount would no doubt be higher than agreed upon in a prenup.

Dr. Dre’s Lesson on Prenuptial Agreements: What to Do BEFORE Filing for Divorce

While we will have to patiently await the outcome of Nicole Young’s case against Dr. Dre, there is still a lesson we can learn from their situation: the importance of complete and valid legal documents. More specifically, if Nicole and Dre actually had a prenuptial agreement, proper completion and signing will be of utmost significance in determining its validity.

No one wants to get a divorce; however, upon getting married, it’s incredibly important to plan for the possibility of filing for divorce. Therefore, couples signing a prenup or any sort of legal agreement must complete the document completely and appropriately. That said, it’s never too late to protect yourself. In other words, whether you are married or engaged in any other partnership, review your legal agreements now. Also, consider working with a registered legal document assistant (LDA) for help with your legal forms!

A People’s Choice is an LDA that assists individuals in California with completing and filing their legal documents. While we are not attorneys and cannot provide legal advice, we can ensure your prenuptial agreement is legally valid. Plus, you don’t have to break the bank to protect your assets. We offer low-cost, flat-fee pricing for all family law matters. Call us today at 1-800-747-2780 to learn more about how we can help you protect yourself – BEFORE filing for divorce.

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