We already know that millennials are getting hitched later in life than previous generations. Now, new research suggests, they’re also approaching marriage without rose-colored glasses.
More than half (51%) of the attorneys polled in a recent survey of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) cited an increase in the number of millennials requesting prenuptial agreements. Only 2% of the lawyers in the survey said they’d seen a decrease in prenups for millennials.
There’s not a lot of reliable data on precisely how many couples in the U.S. get prenups–pre-marriage contracts that help individuals protect their assets, earnings and intellectual property in the event of a divorce. But what research there is out there indicates that prenups have been on the upswing for years, and not just for rich people. About 62% of the AAML survey respondents have seen an increase in the total number of clients who are seeking prenups in the last three years.
Still, the rise of prenups among millennials is particularly interesting and reflects changing times, according to Joslin Davis, president of AAML. “Couples are getting married at later ages these days and are consequently entering their relationships with more to protect in the event of a divorce,” she said in a statement. The top three items respondents cited as most commonly covered by the marriage contracts were “protection of separate property,” “alimony/spousal maintenance,” and “division of property.”
Divorces, it’s worth noting, are on the downswing nationally. This trend also seems partly due to the fact that people today are more likely to be older when they get married, compared to decades ago.
Even so, financial and relationship experts generally agree that prenups are a good idea. This is particularly the case for couples in second marriages or blended families, or for those who want to protect a business, family gifts, or an inheritance.