Prenuptial agreements, or pre-marital agreements, have not historically
had the best reputation. While they may have once been viewed as un-romantic
or only for celebrities and the super wealthy, prenuptial agreements have
become increasingly popular in recent years, especially among millennial
couples and women.
A recent survey from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, as well
as previous research on the topic, have explored changing trends when
it comes to prenups. Here are a few of their findings:
- More than half (63%) of lawyers surveyed by AAML stated they have noticed
a marked increase in prenuptial agreements over the past 3 years.
- The AAML study also noted that a 46% increase in the number of women who
initiated requests for prenuptial agreements.
- In a 2010 study conducted Harris Interactive showed that roughly 45% of
single men and women and nearly 50% of divorced individuals thought prenuptial
agreements were a wise decision.
The increasing support for
prenuptial agreements has been most notable among millennials, or those who became young adults in the 21st century. The AAML, attorneys, and other experts have cited a number of
reasons behind the increase, including:
Millennials are waiting to get married – More millennials are waiting to settle down and get married, at
least compared to their parents and those before them. According to a
2015 Pew Research survey, the average age of marriage among millennial
women is 27, and the average age for their male counterparts is 29. That’s
compared to an average age of 21 for women in 1963, and 23 for men.
Exposure to divorce – Parents of millennials divorced at much higher rates than their
own parents did, which experts believe has significantly shaped how they
view marriage and the fact that some do not work out. As children of divorced
parents, spectators of divorce among family or friends, or passive observers
of divorce depicted on TV and film, millennials have been more exposed to
divorce than previous generations were. According to experts, these experiences
would also likely involve seeing disputes and contention that can arise
during a divorce, and increase the chance that they would want to create
safeguards to prevent those experiences from happening to them as adults.
More assets and debt – Millennials are entering marriage with more assets and debt than
couples had in previous years. This is due in part to marrying at an older
age, such as after establishing meaningful careers, purchasing homes,
and accumulating other assets. It also has a lot to do with the fact that
millennials carry a lot of debt, especially when it comes to student loans,
which now exceed $1 trillion nationwide. Prenuptial agreements are a way
to protect those assets and address debts like student loans and credit
Economic factors – Growing up during the recession allowed many millennials to see
the risks inherent to finances, investments, and real estate. As such,
there’s more awareness of those risks, and greater inclination to
address how to share and divide them in a divorce.
Prenuptial agreements have never been exclusive to a select few –
they have always been an effective means for allowing spouses to address
important issues that can impact the rest of their lives. The fact of
the matter is that everyone can benefit from a clearly crafted prenuptial
agreement and better protect their rights and interests should things
not go as expected. To ensure these agreements do just that, it is important
for spouses to work with experienced divorce and family law attorneys
who can guide them through the process.
If you have questions about prenuptial agreements and how our New Jersey
family lawyers at Moskowitz Law Group, LLC can be of assistance,
contact us for a free initial consultation. Our legal team is available 24/7 and
serves clients throughout New Jersey and New York.