Why More Couples are Getting Prenups Now Than Ever Before

On behalf of The Law Offices of Eric J. Burch, P.C. posted in Divorce on Monday, August 15, 2018.

First comes love, then comes marriage. Or so the saying goes. When it comes to millennials, however, there may be something that comes between the two. More and more people are choosing to get a prenup before tying the knot, and there are plenty of reasons why.

Part of the reason that thoughts about prenuptial agreements have changed in recent years is that people are getting married later in life. In a 2016 Census Bureau report, during the 1970s about 8 in 10 people had married by the time they reached 30. In 2016, to reach that same percentage, you had to look at people in their mid-40s.

Another reason people have agreed on prenups is the change in workforce. With the older age that people are getting married they are more likely to have financial security and business investments. The same 2016 Census Bureau report showed that only 14% of women were full-time stay-at-home mothers. In 1975, that number was 43%.

What Exactly is a Prenup?

Prenuptial agreements, also called prenups, are legal documents with which couples lay out exactly how they would divide their assets if they decide to divorce later. People used to believe that prenups should only be used if one person had significantly more assets or stood to inherit a lot of money later, but that mindset is changing.

More and more couples discuss prenups as a possibility before they get married. They are not afraid to protect their assets and financial security, but having a prenup can do much more than protect your assets and finances , it can also protect your soon-to-be spouse from debts.

Who Should Consider a Prenup?

While it is still hard for people not to think of a prenuptial agreement as a divorce contract, most financial and legal experts view prenups as a smart move. Still, prenups are not for everyone. You should consider a prenup in any of the following situations, just to name a few:

  • One or both partners own a business or property .

  • One or both partners have children from a previous relationship or have been married to another person.

  • Either partner has significant debt.

  • Either partner plans to take time off to raise the children.

  • One or both partners have significant retirement accounts.

  • Either partner will receive stock options during the marriage.

Another thing to consider is where you live. Some states have what are called community property laws where assets and debts that are acquired during marriage are divided equally upon divorce. Tennessee is not a community property state . Instead, a judge will look at several factors in determining which party gets which assets, including the tangible contributions each person made to the marriage, the amount of retirement benefits available to each party, and the duration of the marriage.

Where to Start if You Think a Prenup is for You

If you feel like a prenup would be a smart move for you and your spouse, a consultation with an experienced estate and family planning attorney is a good place to start. They will be able to discuss with you the options available for your situation and draft the documents necessary to make your wishes known. The attorneys at Burch & Lockhart have been helping couples plan their futures for over 15 years. Call them today to schedule a consultation.