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
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
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.