Jeff Bezos to sign prenup agreement with girlfriend to protect 138 billion dollar fortune. Can you get one in India?

Dristi SharmaJune 3, 2023 | 08:00 IST

Amazon co-founder and billionaire Jeff Bezos seems to have learnt from his mistakes. And before getting married to his to his girlfriend of five years, Lauren Sanchez, he is set to sign a prenup agreement to safeguard his wealth. Bezos, 59, recently got engaged to his Sanchez with a fancy engagement party in a 500-million-dollar yacht. 

Notably, Bezos did not sign a prenup with his ex-wife MacKenzie Scott, and it cost him $38 billion when the couple got divorced in 2019. But this time Bezos wants to be extra cautious and not repeat the mistakes of his past

Photo: Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez/ Getty Images

Bezos is one of the top three richest men on earth, and he is taking precautions to protect his fortune, which is valued at $138 billion.

[READ MORE: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos engaged to girlfriend Lauren Sanchez]

Photo: Jeff Bezos and Lauren MacKenzie Scott/ Getty Images

However, it is also to be noted that Bezos's fiance is also well off. If you don't know, Sanchez is an American television personality, news anchor, pilot, and entrepreneur.  

Lauren Sanchez, the successful entrepreneur and founder of Black Ops Aviation, a company specializing in providing high-quality aerial videos to esteemed clients, has been making waves in the industry. Known for her expertise in capturing stunning aerial footage, Sanchez has built a reputation for herself as a leading figure in the field. 

So, it was in both of their interest to sign a prenup. 

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If you're an Indian you must have heard about a prenup, through various sitcoms and romcoms. Remember when Bernadette's (From The Big Bang Theory) father was forcing her to get a prenup from Howard, before her marriage?  

Before getting into if at all prenups are possible in India. Let us understand what a prenup is:

  • A prenuptial agreement, commonly known as a prenup, is a legal contract entered into by a couple before they get married or enter into a civil partnership.
  • It outlines the rights, responsibilities, and division of assets between the spouses in the event of a divorce, separation, or death.
  • Prenups typically address issues such as property division, spousal support, debt allocation, and other financial matters.

Now, can you sig a prenup in India?

To simply answer the question: No. 

While countries like Canada and France have specific laws and provisions for prenuptial contracts, India does not grant such agreements a special legal status.

The Indian Contract Act of 1872 Section 23 of the Act states that any agreement contrary to public policy or deemed immoral is considered void.

So, even if a prenuptial agreement is entered into with free consent, it would be considered void in India as it goes against public policy and morality.

But there are two exceptions: 

  • First, in the state of Goa, which follows the Portuguese Civil Code of 1867, prenuptial agreements are recognized and are legally binding.
  • Second, if you marry under the Special Marriage Act of 1954, with all the necessary declaration documents, a prenuptial agreement may be considered legally binding.

One of the reasons why getting a prenuptial agreement is considered taboo in India is because marriage is regarded as more than just a contractual agreement, unlike tin the West. It is considered a holy ceremony, and discussing topics like divorce is generally not seen as appropriate or favourable.

Last updated: June 03, 2023 | 08:00
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