Millennials are impacting the what, the how, and even the why of negotiating a prenup before heading down the aisle.
It’s a generation that’s grown up in a world where the prenuptial agreement is less vilified than it has been for prior generations. While the negotiated agreements are not standard operating procedure for everyone, prenups are no longer seen as the purview of the rich and famous.
The prenup plan
One modern trend is a paradigm shift in the purpose of having a prenup at all. Some couples use the process of drafting the agreement as a time to determine not only how to divide assets upon divorce, but also to determine financial reasonability for certain items during the marriage, or to discuss what happens upon the death of one spouse.
In this way, the prenup can become a marriage or life plan; for example, determining who will pay higher education costs (or handle that massive student loan debt that many millennials are carrying) or fund a particularly expensive trip. Also, prenups these days will often include arrangements for marriage counseling prior to a divorce filing—a recognition that many millennials are more comfortable with counseling than their parents were.
Helping in-laws breathe easier
And speaking of parents, much has been made about the connection between millennials and their often over-protective parents. Things can get sticky when those helicopter parents become in-laws.
If one soon-to-be spouse relies on his or her parents for income or other support, it should be considered in a prenup. While Mom and Dad might be happy to pay for their daughter’s graduate school, they might not be as thrilled about their new son-in-law’s decision to use money earmarked for a down payment on a house to buy a food truck. A prenup might also include specific language about one partner’s family inheritance, protecting it as an individual asset, much to Mom and Dad’s relief.
Many still feel that having a prenuptial agreement is a harbinger for divorce. But for others, the agreement is a chance to plan for the future with their eyes wide open to life’s modern challenges.