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Why are younger couples embracing prenuptial agreements?

On Behalf of | May 12, 2024 | Property And Asset Division

Social stigma about prenuptial agreements was once quite common. People judged those who requested prenuptial agreements, often by assuming they did not intend to fully commit to their marital relationship.

Thankfully, that practice has changed in recent years. Research now shows that the younger generations largely embrace the idea of prenuptial agreements. Recent research indicates that roughly half of all adults in the United States are open to the idea of signing a prenuptial agreement before they ask the government to acknowledge their marital relationships.

Why have the younger generations become more accepting of prenuptial agreements?

Witnessing messy divorces

For many young adults, the most traumatic experience they have before adulthood is the divorce of their parents. Watching the intense fights over personal property and custody that often arise during divorce can leave some people averse to the concept of marriage entirely.

Others want to protect themselves against the possibility of a downturn in their marital relationship by talking about their expectations ahead of time. Those who understand that divorce is likely, unpredictable and emotional may also recognize that prenuptial agreements are a valuable form of protection for those who don’t want to spend months fighting over property division and other divorce terms.

Mutually pursuing professional success

The nature of marriage has changed drastically in recent decades. Long gone are the days when only one spouse works and the other stays home to care for the family. Modern households often have much more egalitarian dynamics. Both spouses work and share responsibilities related to home maintenance and child-rearing. Spouses may both have personal property that they may want to protect from division in a divorce.

Each spouse has the option of setting aside certain assets as their separate property in a prenuptial agreement. They can also set very clear terms for asset division and other divorce matters that could otherwise trigger conflict when a marriage ends. When both spouses are capable of supporting themselves and want to keep the cost of divorce low, a prenuptial agreement is a useful tool for achieving those goals.

Given how open members of the younger generations are to the idea of marital contracts, someone who recently got engaged may feel comfortable about bringing up the idea of drafting a prenuptial agreement before their wedding. Negotiating and signing a marital contract can help people approach their marriages with the right attitude and can also protect them if the marriage ends in divorce rather than death.