Prenuptial agreements (prenups) have been around for a long time, dating back to ancient Egypt. They were a way for women to protect themselves and their families in the event of their husband’s death since women at that time had no inheritance rights. Prenuptial agreements, in this regard, changed with the passing of the Married Women’s Property Act in 1848 which stipulated that women could inherit property in the will of a spouse.
Today, a prenuptial agreement serves the same purpose it did all those years ago, but are implemented in a more preemptive manner, protecting individuals upon the dissolvement of a marriage.
Fast forward… with The Married Women’s Property Act (yes, we really had to enact a federal law for women in the U.S. to inherit property), Women’s Suffrage Movement, and most recently, numerous 2019 laws giving women the “right to equal pay in the U.S,” Prenups are needed for all people, regardless of gender, to preemptively lock each other out of the court house.
What is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is a contract created by two people prior to marriage. It likely lists assets and debts of each individual. A prenup can resolve all financial aspects of divorce such as alimony and division of assets, and stipulates ownership of those items post marriage. A prenup, however, cannot resolve any matter relating to custody of children.
Why More Millennials Should Consider Prenuptial Agreements
1. Millennials Grew up in the Age of Divorce
The romanticism that once surrounded marriage is somewhat gone. Millennials have grown up in the age of divorce. Chances are, that one person in each relationship is a child of divorce. They know that divorce is a reality. Hey, their parents were once happily married too. So the notion of a prenup is intuitive to millennials.
2. A Millennial’s Significant Other May Carry High Student Loan Debt
It’s no secret that students, many of which are Millennials, are drowning in student loan debt. The current count is at 1.5 trillion dollars. These debts are real hazards to financial security. If you marry someone with student loan debt without a prenuptial agreement, you may become liable for that debt. The chance that you may be liable for their student loan debt is more likely if such debt was acquired during the marriage. This is something that many Millennials are not willing to risk.
3. Millennials are Getting Married Later In Life
The average age of marriage for Millennials has risen to 27 for women and 29 for men. When you get married later in life, you accrue more assets. Think savings, property, retirement accounts etc. As a result of Millennials have an increased net worth at the time of marriage. They have more to protect.
As a Matrimonial Lawyer I Urge Millennials to Seriously Consider Prenups
If you combine all three of these factors you have a perfect divorce storm, absent a prenup. It’s no wonder prenuptial agreements are increasing within the Millennial demographic.
As an attorney, a mother, and as someone who has been through divorce, I strongly encourage the use of a prenuptial agreement in any relationship. Although prenups dull the shimmer of the shiny object we call marriage, the fact is, divorce is a reality.
Signing a prenuptial agreement doesn’t mean that you don’t trust your significant other or that you can’t be trusted. It simply means that you’re entering into a relationship with clear eyes about the realities of marriage.
Kamelia “Mia” Poppe, Esq.
If you are considering a prenuptial agreement, contact our firm to schedule a complimentary consultation with an attorney today.