Prenuptial agreements are on the rise for Gen Z. Over 40% of those who are engaged or married say they’ve gotten one. If your adult child isn’t among them and is engaged or in a serious relationship, you’re not alone if you’re worried that family assets could be at stake if they end up divorcing.
It’s a concern that many parents of young adult children have. Whether you have assets that have been passed down from your parents and grandparents or you’ve worked hard to build a business or excel in your profession, you likely want your child to have a share of the family assets at some point. A divorce without a prenup could result in your child’s spouse walking away with a good chunk of your child’s inheritance – or even part of a family business.
When and how to approach the subject
Ideally, you should broach the subject before your child is in a serious relationship. That way it won’t seem like you don’t like or trust the person they love or don’t have faith that the relationship will last. What you shouldn’t do is bring up the subject when the wedding plans are well underway. If your in-law-to-be can show that they felt pressured – even by time – to sign a prenup, it can be ruled invalid.
Rather than focusing on keeping money in the family, you can talk about the importance of legacy. Maybe dig into your family ancestry. Show your child that their ancestors had little or nothing when they came here but worked hard to become successful and to help you – and by extension, your child – have a life that honors the sacrifices of those who came before.
You can present the idea of a prenup as something that it’s simply smart and responsible to have – like health insurance or a will. If there’s already a prospective bride or groom in the picture, you can point out that a prenup won’t take anything away from their marital lifestyle or compromise their rights or interests in any way, as fair terms will be agreed to before any family assets have the chance to be comingled.
Why you can become too involved
Where you must be careful is getting involved in the terms of a prenup when they draw one up. This can make their spouse-to-be feel pressured and outnumbered, which can make the agreement unenforceable if they ever question its validity.
The same goes for a postnuptial agreement if they choose to put something in place after they’re married. With solid legal guidance, you can help your child see the importance of having an agreement without taking your involvement too far or damaging delicate family relationships.