For many millennials who are getting married, choosing to have a prenuptial agreement to protect their interests has become a popular option in recent years. A prenuptial agreement, also referred to as a prepnup, is a legal document that dictates how engaged couples will divide their assets if they end up getting divorced. According to a survey of matrimonial lawyers, more and more millennials now days are requesting prenuptial agreements.
Why are so many millennials choosing to get prenups? The most likely reason is:
- Millennials are now marrying later than older generations, which means they have had years to build up assets and debt on their own.
Louis Cannataro, partner and founder of Cannataro Park Avenue Financial, has given advice to dozens of millennial clients regarding their prenups. According to him, “I got married at 23, so we put nothing and nothing together. But when someone’s getting married in their 30s, there’s a different approach.”
A major factor for why more millennial are getting prenups is the changing role of women in the work force. In 1980, only 13% of women who lived with a male partner earned at least half of the income coming into the home. Today, the number of women earning at least half of a couple’s income has nearly tripled.
While traditional prenups were made to protect the party with the most money, which was usually the male partner, the actual creation of the agreement often led to resentment between spouses. However, many millennials try to write their agreement as a team.
Madeline Marzano-Lesnevich, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, said “Most of the millennials we have dealt with really consider it a business deal, so there’s very little emotion attached to it. I think it’s because they both want to protect their independence and what they’ve been working for.” This is certainly different from the generations that came before them.
Another factor that can be in influencing this trend is the fact that more than one-third of millennials grew up in a divorced home or with a single parent. Louis Cannataro said, “They’ve seen what happened and they lived the life, so they accept there’s a bigger probability of it happening.”
Erin Lowry, author of “Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together,” is one of these realists. Although she and her fiancé are Catholic and both have parents who are still married, they plan to sign a prenup before their wedding. Lowry, age 29 and breadwinner of the couple, said “It’s incredibly naïve to ever head into a marriage thinking divorce is 100 percent off the table. To enter a legally binding contract without protection — the rational side of my brain couldn’t handle that.”
Who Needs a Prenup?
While many people think of a prenup as a type of divorce contract, most legal experts see it as a smart business move. Although marriage is first and foremost a romantic relationship, it is important to remember that it is also a financial and legal relationship. If you or your partner have any of the following things listed below, you should consider getting a prenup:
- Property or a business
- Children from a previous relationship
- A significant amount of debt
- Retirement accounts
- Stock options
Talk to a New York Family Law Attorney
If you want to protect your rights before getting married, talk to your partner sooner, rather than later. The two of you will need to assess your financial situation and decide what to include in your prenuptial agreement. An experienced family law attorney can help you make a strong prenuptial agreement that will hold up in the event that you and your spouse get divorced.
Call (347) 848-1850, or contact our skilled team of New York family law lawyers to request your case evaluation today.