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Dr. Dre’s divorce a reminder that prenups are not ironclad

On Behalf of | Sep 11, 2020 | Divorce |

Rapper Dr. Dre (Andre Young) was already a multiplatinum rapper and producer, and then his career really took off. Now he is a media mogul and businessman worth an estimated $800 million after selling his Beats music brand to Apple for $3 billion in 2014.

His wife of 24 years cited irreconcilable differences on June 29 divorce filing after the couple separated March 27. Nicole Young made no mention of a prenup before the May 1996 wedding in her filing — Dre claims he will pay support, but he will otherwise stick to a prenup she signed. The couple’s three children are now grown, so there is no need for child support.

Prenups sometimes not ironclad

Dre’s assets attained before marriage will more or less remain his separate property. Still, the long marriage will likely dictate some level of community property in California (Colorado is not a community property state), regardless of the prenuptial agreement. There is no indication that the split is particularly acrimonious, and he may think it more important to keep the arrangement out of divorce court, where all information would likely become public.

Prenup gets its own hearing

The prenup issue will be bifurcated from the divorce, meaning it will be resolved separately before the divorce moves forward. There are specific issues involving the prenup:

  • According to the wife’s legal team, Dre tore up the prenup a few years into the marriage. Young also claims that her husband pressured her to sign the agreement just before the wedding; and that his lawyers recommended the legal counsel that provided guidance to her.
  • Another big question is the amount of money involved. While Dre was certainly wealthy due to his music career, Beats’ sale is a significant change in the couple’s finances, which could lead to invalidating at least part of the prenup agreement.
  • Moreover, ripping up a prenup does not necessarily make the agreement void. Removing conditions outlined in the prenup in California would take another formal contract to stipulate the prenup’s removal.

Any of the above issues could jeopardize the strength of this contract or any drafted for a couple.

Different yet the same

States’ laws regarding divorce and prenups vary. Some issues outlined here may be handled differently here in Colorado than in California, where the couple filed. Coloradans with questions about their prenup should bring the agreement to a knowledgeable local attorney who handles family law, divorce and prenups. They can provide insight based on legal precedent and their own experience handling such matters.

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