Not too long ago, the thought of a prenuptial agreement was somewhat taboo, or reserved for the extremely wealthy. Today, we’re seeing them more frequently—and here’s why.
Prenuptial agreements (most often referred to as prenups) are legal documents that dictate how property and assets will be divided in a divorce. Entered into by engaged couples, they allow for difficult issues to be settled and agreed upon before the marriage even begins. If the marriage does end in divorce, it will come into play and can eliminate the need for lengthy, expensive court proceedings.
As Southern California family law attorneys, we’ve seen an increase in millennials who want to draft prenuptial agreements before they marry—and we expect this to continue.
About half of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce, and that statistic alone is one reason to consider a prenup that protects your property. There are other factors at play, and we believe these are the reasons behind increase prenup use among millennials, as well as their changing role.
Getting Married Later in Life
Millennials are marrying later in life than their parents and grandparents. This means that they may already have college educations, careers, and homes.
According to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, the average age of marriage in the U.S. was:
- About 21.5 years old in 1960
- About 23.3 years old in 1980
- About 26 years old in 2000
- About 29 years old in 2019
With more assets and responsibilities, prenups offer a way for millennials to protect themselves—even if their marriages do not work out.
Women’s Role in the Workforce
Prenups have also changed. In the past, they were typically geared toward protecting one party—the one with the money (who was also usually the man)—from the other. Millennials tend to approach prenuptial agreements as a team, working together to draft an agreement that is in both of their best interests.
While part of this can be attributed to marriage later in life, when both parties already have assets, a key reason is the changing role of women in today’s workforce. According to an article published by Pew Research Center, more women are family breadwinners than ever before. In 1960, just 11% of women who lived with male partners earned at least half of their combined income. In 1980, this number had only climbed to 13%. By 2014, that number reached 40%.
The Future of Prenups in Southern California
The cost of living in Southern California is high, just like its divorce rate (60%!), and we expect to see more millennials, people who are remarrying, and future generations seek prenuptial agreements to protect their hard-earned assets. And with less resentment and higher workability, this could be just what we need.
To learn more about prenuptial agreements and other key areas of family law and divorce in your area, contact the Law Offices of H. William Edgar. We can answer your questions and offer prenup drafting, review, and litigation services to help you. Call (888) 251-9618 today!