Prenups are often thought of as reducing marriage to a business deal where skepticism is alive and well when it comes to the reason two people have chosen to get married. In the past, most people have thought of prenuptial agreements as beginning a marriage with an unromantic omen that it will end in divorce, and when it does, the presumably wealthy spouse who came in with more will be protected. That mindset has been slowly changing with the generations as both men and women have the means to accumulate wealth and debt.
A recent trend of using prenuptial agreements has been emerging among the millennial generation, which tends to take a “lay all my cards on the table” approach to life. As a whole, the generation is not any better off financially than those of previous generations at the same age. Still, this savvy generation is taking the subject of financial protection seriously.
Why millennials are believers in prenups
Millennials are grounded in the reality of divorce. As divorce became more socially acceptable and commonplace decades ago, millennials became the poster children for shuffling between households every other weekend. Baby boomers, who claim the birth years between 1946 and 1964, hold the highest divorce rate of any generation. This may be due to the fact that their parents tended to stick things out “for better or worse.” Many baby boomer kids grew up in unhappy homes and swore they would never put their own kids through that, which may account for the higher divorce rate among the parents of millennials.
Millennials tend to enter marriage with assets. Many of those in their mid-twenties to mid-thirties have lived at home longer than previous generations did, affording them the opportunity to save more at a younger age. For both men and women, this means entering a marriage being already somewhat financially established where prior generations threw caution to the wind and typically built their marital estate together from scratch.
Practicality wins the day. Surprisingly enough, single female millennials have become home buyers more often than their male counterparts. When combined with their ability to earn higher wages than in the past and obtaining college degrees at higher rates than their predecessors, women are becoming more open to initiating talks about prenuptial agreements as a sensible tool to protect their hard work.
Protection from debt. Two of the scariest words in modern day relationships are “student loans.” Yes, prenups are there in your time of need to guarantee you will not lose everything you gained during your marriage, but that isn’t their only objective. These financial contracts also serve to protect one another from becoming saddled with crushing debt from earning your degrees, taking loans to start a business, or making poor financial investments should you divorce down the road.
Postnups offer the same protection down the road
Whether or not millennials have created a prenup or are thinking far enough into the future to plan for probate one day, postnuptial agreements can handle it all. The sole difference between a prenup and postnup is when the agreement is executed. A postnup is prepared after you are already married, but serves to accomplish the same tasks a prenup will.
Estate planning and probate are generally topics that are not discussed until later in life when couples start planning for the future rather than focusing on the here and now. Few couples are thinking his and hers burial plots when choosing wedding rings and a caterer, but at some point, it will become a topic of discussion. Prenups and postnups can help plan for the financial security of your surviving spouse and children.
Planning your financial future with your spouse does not need to be a complicated ordeal. Whether the purpose is to protect your assets, protect your spouse from your personal debt, or protect your family in the event of your death, our insightful prenuptial agreement attorneys understand the importance you place on properly managing your financial future. To fully discuss the safeguards a prenup can offer to you and your fiancé with a caring and pragmatic attorney with the Fulton family law firm at McCabe Russell, P.A. schedule your consultation today by calling us at 443-917-3347, or feel free to reach out to us through our contact form. We also maintain offices in Bethesda, Rockville, and Columbia.