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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
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Experience:  JD, MBA
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My husband owns a business of which he is 100% owner. We were

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My husband owns a business of which he is 100% owner. We were married with a prenup, excluding me from all assets brought into the marriage as well as all assets attained during the marriage.
Based on the fact that our marriage is governed by a prenup excluding me from any assets he had prior to or any assets/property gained DURING the marriage, I was wondering what would happen if I started a business. The situation is that he never made me a partner in his business that he had before we married, but I still work in the business with him without pay. (He claims its for "OUR" future, yet he excluded me from all his property in the prenup). So my day and night efforts and time, will not be taken into account should we divorce. Am I correct in assuming this?

Second question: I came up with an invention which I want to start patenting and market. My husband said he would give me the start up capital if I made him a partner. From what I understand by prenups that exclude a person from present and future property etc, if this new business venture was funded with HIS money, would my venture not land up being HIS property, even though I am the one putting all the work into it?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

I think that you'd have a good chance of getting that prenup invalidated. First, it is unreasonable that you would be entitled to no assets attained during the marriage. That alone is likely a reason to have it voided. Also, because that prenup is absurd, I suspect that you did not have an attorney represent you when it was signed. If not, then that is also a reason to have it voided. Assuming that you can get it voided (which sounds promising), then you would be entitled to the assets attained during the marriage.

With regard to the invention, you can arrange the deal such that he is merely loaning or giving you the capital, and that it is not to be considered his alone. A simple written agreement to that affect would resolve that issue. With the written agreement, he would not be able to claim that it is entirely his.

Does that answer your question? Let me know if you need clarification, and please remember to rate me positively so that I receive credit for my efforts.

Thank you and good luck!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you. Firstly, the prenup was drafted by one of LA's top divorce attorneys and is 60 pages long. I was represented by an attorney of my own but we only signed the prenup the day before the wedding even though the first draft was presented to me about 3 weeks earlier. Unfortunately my attorney did not really explain it to me at the time. My husband is saying it would not be fair to make me a partner in his business because it existed BEFORE we got married so I am not entitled to be part of it. He also maintains that because my invention is a NEW venture started during the marriage he should be entitled to a percentage of that new business if he fronts the capital. IN other words he is asking for a percentage of my business in exchange for his money and deems this fair as "we" are only starting this new business now. Does this make any sense to you from a legal standpoint?


 


In addition, if we were to draft a business agreement would it trump the prenup in divorce court, even if he provided the capital from HIS property/money?

Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
That's too bad that you had representation on the prenup, because it doesn't sound fair. It's still possible that in the event of a divorce, it could be thrown out because it is so inequitable.

With regard to your invention, it sounds like your husband wants the best of both worlds. He get part of your business, and you get none of his. I understand that he had the business before the marriage, but what about the business's growth during the marriage? I don't see a difference between that and the start of your new business. Granted, he would be giving you capital, but you could arrange it such that it is a loan or gift rather than an ownership interest in the invention (assuming, of course, that your husband would go along with that). But since I haven't read the prenup, I don't know how it would deal with your new business. It seems inequitable that you would not be entitled to any of the growth of his business during the marriage, but he is entitled to benefit from your invention. I do not consider that fair, and I would expect that the inequity of the prenup could be a valid reason to challenge it in court in the event of a divorce.

I hope that helps. Please remember to give me positive feedback, and let me know if you need clarification.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 9925
Experience: JD, MBA
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TJ, Esq.
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JD, MBA