Millennials are breaking the mold in several ways from former generations, so it’s not a surprise that more millennials are marrying a partner later in life. However, with later marriages comes the rise of prenuptial agreements, a legal document that outlines how a couple will divide their assets in a divorce.
A recent survey noted a boost in millennials, ages 18 through 34, drafting prenups before marriage, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. The study also noticed a fivefold increase in prenuptial agreements across the board over the last 20 years.
Is preparation necessary today?
The survey did not dive into the motivations behind the growth in prenups. But experts theorize millennials are entering marriages with more assets and doubts about the long-term longevity of marriages.
As mentioned earlier, millennials are getting married later on. Typically, they are establishing careers, growing their assets and choosing their partners during their 20s and into their 30s. It makes sense that millennials are considering how a divorce may impact finances and personal assets; they want to protect their assets while committing to their partner.
However, it’s important to point out more millennials are preparing for divorce, not necessarily anticipating a divorce. They want to feel prepared for the worst case scenario but marry the person they love.
Another reason millennials may feel prenups are necessary is a growing exposure to divorce. They experience divorce through parents, grandparents, friends and another family. The more they hear about it, the more they want to prepare for the circumstances.
No matter what the motivation is behind the prenups; it’s apparent that millennials are shifting the perception of prenups for future marriages and generations.
Is a prenup right for me?
There is a misconception that prenups are only for the wealthy. Millennials are shifting the misconception to show prenups are valuable for most income levels, especially if you have been married previously.
You may wonder if a prenup is right for your circumstances, and the answer is circumstantial. You should have to open a conversation with your partner about a prenuptial agreement and what your expectations are in case of a divorce. It’s an awkward conversation to have but a necessary one for most marriages.
Also, have to consider what you are bringing into a marriage. It’s not just about inheritance or personal wealth; it includes finances of children from a previous relationship or debt you may bring into the marriage.
Before you write the agreement, start with a conversation with your future spouse and move from there. It will help establish clear expectations for your relationship and protect both spouses during divorce.