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Celebrity Docket - Dr. Dre v. Ms. Young: The Case of the Missing Prenup...or is it?

With one metaphorical foot in summer and one in fall, it seems only appropriate that we should take a break from the changes past, present, and to be anticipated, to indulge in another segment of Celebrity Docket. Drop the proverbial “beat” and face the music with this month’s case of Dr. Dre (a.k.a. Andre Young) and Nicole Young.

This established marriage of 24 years is lengthy by anyone’s definition, especially in the context of the entertainment industry. But, as some songs must unfortunately come to an end, so must this relationship. Turns out that marital issues have led to Ms. Young’s recent divorce filing in the California court system. The interesting and controversial filing, however, was conveniently missing any mention of the parties’ prenuptial agreement (“prenup”). No need to fret (cue joke rimshot), Dr. Dre’s astute legal team has corrected the omission by not only mentioning the existence of the prenup in his divorce filings, but requesting the court divide the over $800 million estate per the terms of that agreement. Ms. Young and her legal team are not giving up that easily. According to recent reporting by Vanity Fair, Ms. Young is claiming that Dr. Dre tore up the prenup after the parties’ marriage due, in part, to the fact that that he was “ashamed that he had pressured [her]” into signing the prenup “very shortly before” the parties were wed. At first blush, the pressure to sign coupled with the alleged intention by Dr. Dre to null and void the agreement during his alleged paper shredding moment may seem like a good argument for Ms. Young to get her way and have the court divide Dr. Dre’s fortune per the laws of California.  But, it’s not that simple. Notably, Ms. Young may have a good argument based on California’s law that states both parties need at least 7 days prior to marriage to review a prenup. Only time will tell if this timeframe was actually followed, and whether that will, in fact, void the prenup altogether.

While we can’t speak for what may happen in California, if the parties were in Virginia, the court would look at the Virginia Premarital Agreement Act that is part of the Code of Virginia. These statutes were created to define what parties can include in a prenup, when and how the prenup is enforced, and even how they are revoked. Related to our Dr. Dre impending divorce, if the parties lived in the Commonwealth of Virginia, in order to revoke their prenup, they would have had to revoke it in a subsequent written agreement. Suffice it to say, Ms. Young better be thankful she doesn’t live in Virginia or she would have had to face the music of likely having to follow the prenup. 

Every case is different, of course, and there are many other factors that the Virginia court might consider; however, it is important to remember, that no matter what state you live in, a prenuptial agreement is a binding legal contract. So, while Dr. Dre and Ms. Young’s divorce most definitely won’t be over until the fat lady sings, we can assume if the parties were properly advised early on, they might not be where they are today, duking it out in court. 

If you live in Virginia, before entering into a prenuptial agreement, contact our experienced family law attorneys at Morris Williams LLC by calling (757) 226-9425 or emailing us at admin@morriswilliamslaw.com, so you can be empowered to make the best decisions for your future.

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