Members of the Millennial generation, who are now aged 23 to 38, are more likely to want a prenuptial agreement than prior generations. They are also more likely to approach the idea of a prenups as partners rather than as one wealthy person trying to protect his or her assets. Why is this, and what are the benefits of a prenup for younger couples?
Millennials are more likely to seek a premarital agreement than their parents and grandparents due to their age and status at the time of their marriage.
Millennials are marrying later, which means they are more likely to have more debts and assets than someone who marries at age 18 or 22.
In 1970, the median age at first marriage was 20.8 years for women and 23.2 years for men, according to the US Census Bureau.
By 1990, the ages had risen to 23.9 years for women and 26.1 years for men. In other words, there was a substantial increase in the number of women who were at least old enough to have graduated from college before marrying.
As of 2018, the median age at first marriage stands at 27.8 for women and 29.8 for men, meaning that 2018 newlyweds had about 7 more years for education, career, and wealth-building prior to marriage.
Several studies have reported that couples feel less pressured to rush into marriage these days, dating or living together for at least 3 years prior to marriage. Both men and women are now finishing their educations, establishing careers, buying homes, building retirement savings, and even starting their own businesses prior to marriage.
Millennials are more likely to expect divorce. Because more than one-third of Millennials were raised by single or divorced parents, they have witnessed firsthand the painful disputes that can arise when a couple breaks up. Their views on marriage have also been influenced by social media, reality television, and other cultural factors.
Millennials have different expectations for married life. More women now have college degrees and careers before marrying, so they bring more income and assets to a marriage than was typical in previous generations. These women want to protect their independence and ensure their future financial security, particularly if they plan to take a time-out from their career to be a full-time mother. Millennials are also more likely to be saddled with substantial debt, such as student loans. When there is an imbalance in debts and/or assets, both parties should feel protected.
Prenups are no longer just for the super-wealthy. If there is a substantial difference in income, assets, debts, future earning potential, or attitudes about money between you and your partner, a prenup can protect both of your interests by:
Defining specific assets or debts as the sole property or responsibility of the named person. Without such definitions, commingling of funds may cause a court to label some of those items “marital property subject to equitable division.”
Specifying rules for the division of marital assets in the event of divorce.
Stating a minimum level of spousal support, aka alimony or maintenance, to be provided to a stay-at-home spouse in the event of divorce.
If you or someone you know is getting married soon, a prenuptial agreement should be part of the conversation. Consult an experienced Lombard prenuptial agreement attorney to discuss your options. For a free consultation about your situation, call Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices at 630-932-9100.
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