Anastasia Greer
Legal Intern at JUSTLAW

The Place for Prenups in Succession

After Tom’s astounding betrayal in the Season 3 finale, Siobhan Roy (daughter of business titan and Waystar Royco founder Logan Roy) may be saved by her prenup in the fallout. Tune into Succession Season 4, airing on Sunday, March 26 at 9pm for more! 


With over 5 million viewers across all platforms in the United States, HBO’s Succession is one of the most-watched, popular T.V. shows in the nation. Why? Razor-sharp writing, morally bankrupt billionaires, and the marriages in between make for an incredibly entertaining series.


At the center of family drama and dysfunction is the relationship of Siobhan Roy (“Shiv”) and Tom Wambsgans. And episodes throughout Season 1 are riddled with the all-too-real questions and conversations regarding their prenuptial agreement. In Season 1, Episode 5  “I Went to Market,” Tom grows increasingly concerned about the terms of his prenuptial agreement with Siobhan. Upon their engagement, Shiv presents Tom with a prenuptial agreement that Tom swiftly sends over to his lawyer for review. And yes- his lawyer is his mother. 


Shiv and Tom’s Prenup Agreement.

Interestingly enough, Shiv INSISTS that their prenup agreement does not include any clauses about infidelity. JUSTLAW goes more into the structure and purposes of infidelity clauses here. The only reason Shiv provides for why she doesn’t want these legally-binding liabilities for infidelity is simply because they “both travel . . . and s**t happens.” In fact, she pushes to have an infidelity waiver in their prenup instead.

Even with this provision in place, Tom still signs. Tom’s mother/lawyer, angered by such outrageous terms, said a court would likely find them “unconscionable.” The dictionary definition of this legalese is essentially terms of an agreement that are so outrageously unfair that the court must modify or nullify the whole thing. But query, was his decision to sign to such extreme terms a strategic one for Tom, too?

Maybe it would be easier to have allowed a “obviously unfair” prenup to go into effect, knowing that he may have an easier time challenging it down the line? The other terms to Shiv and Tom’s remain unknown, with many viewers who want to know how big of a slice of Waystar Royco he is entitled to. 



Don’t read on if you plan to watch the show yourself. But Shiv’s call not to include any infidelity clauses was purely strategic, as viewers will come to know later in Episodes 9-10 that cover she and Tom’s wedding.

Why? She breaks the news to Tom that she wants an open relationship. With an obligatory disclaimer, it has been said that Shiv’s character is based off of the real-life heiress Elizabeth Murdoch. It’s also worth noting that Elizabeth ended up divorcing her first husband and college sweetheart Elkin Kwesi Pianim, married (and divorced) the grandson of Sigmund Freud, and is now wed to a conceptual artist.

Is this any foreshadowing of what’s to come for Shiv in Season 4? 


Kendall Roy and Ex-Wife Rava. Shiv and Tom are not the only married couple in Succession. The eldest brother (who everyone thought was a shoe-in to take over Wayster) Kendall Roy was once married, too. In fact, Kendall Roy was married to Rava for what must be over 10 years. The two of them even had two children together.

The two of them are introduced on the show with an estranged relationship going through divorce. But viewers get some real insight into the terms of their split at none other than Shiv and Tom’s wedding in Season 1 Episode 9 – “Pre-Nuptials.” Tensions are always high whenever this ex-couple is together and, in pure Succession fashion, the two create a scene arguing at the reception.

During their fight, Rava asks Kendall to give his divorce attorneys a nudge to keep things going. Outraged, Kendall slips the line that Rava’s lawyers are trying to “take [him] to the cleaners” in their divorce proceedings and then chastises her for pretending to ever even give a damn.

Does this imply that Kendall and Rava did not have a prenup in place? Custody of the children and Kendall’s battle with drug addiction are ongoing issues throughout the series – and it is issues like these that could be aired, addressed, and eased with a prenuptial agreement. 


Fans hope to get these questions answered, and more when Succession returns on March 27th. But these fictional T.V. show couples are not the only people who stand to benefit from a prenuptial agreement. If anything, they demonstrate how preventative, effective, and necessary these agreements can be to preserve not only assets – but your relationship.

Finding a reputable attorney to help with this process is key, and JUSTLAW is here to help. Please call us at 1-888-587-8187 to start the process here today.

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