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Why more millennials are opting for prenuptial agreements

Couples in Minnesota in the 18-to-34 age group might be more likely to want a prenuptial agreement compared to couples in the same age group in the past. Attorneys report an overall rise in the number of prenups, but a more recent millennial surge appears to have several causes.

One reason is that millennials are marrying later than their counterparts in previous generations. This means they have had more time to build their retirement accounts, buy a home and make investments. They may be concerned about keeping those assets in case of divorce, and a prenup is one way to protect them. Other millennials are saddled with debt. Student loan debt is particularly high in this age group, and in 2017, college graduates had an average of $38,000 in student loan debt. A future spouse might be concerned that if there is a divorce, debts could be split between the two of them. The prenuptial agreement may prevent this.

Millennials are also entering marriage with different attitudes about the institution. Just 42 percent said in a survey that they considered it a life goal. Another survey asked millennials if they would wait seven years to get married in exchange for an important promotion, and on average, the answer was yes. Since marriage is already lower-priority, millennials may not consider it reason enough to put their finances at risk.

Prenuptial agreements must be drawn up correctly so they are able to withstand any challenges in court. With divorce looming, one person in the couple may decide there was not enough legal counsel or that the agreement was coerced. This impression may be reinforced if the prenup was signed shortly before the wedding, so couples who do want a prenup should consider preparing and signing it well in advance. The prenup should also not contain information about child custody or other issues outside of its scope.

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