Prenups and Millennials

Millennials are delaying marriage until later in life than previous generations. They are more likely to have careers, businesses and property. The Washington Post reports they are also much more likely to have prenuptial agreements too.

Amanda Farris works in accounting and likes to “play things safe” when it comes to her savings and investments. Her boyfriend, Andy Salmons, owns a coffee shop and is a serial entrepreneur not afraid to take risks.

The two have been together for nearly four years and are talking about marriage. But before they vow to stay together for better or worse, they’ve agreed to come up with a plan for how they would protect their finances on the — slim, they hope — chance that their relationship should head south.

“I wanted to find some middle ground,” said Farris, 31, adding that a prenuptial agreement would separate her retirement savings from Salmons’s business and the debt he took on to launch that and other ventures.

“It’s important for us to keep things separate,” Salmons, 32, said. “I don’t ever want my decisions to put her in jeopardy.” Hence the rise of prenuptial agreements with millennials.

Florida Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial agreements are important for couples planning to marry. Many people believe prenuptial agreements are only for the rich and famous. However, prenuptial agreements help all couples. I have written extensively on prenuptial agreements.

Prenuptial agreements help keep your non-marital property yours. The property you brought into the marriage is yours – mostly. But over time it is common for people to start mixing things up. Inheritance funds get deposited into joint accounts; properties get transferred into joint names…and all for good reason.

Unfortunately, tracing commingled property is expensive, and hard to prove. But, if you put it in writing at the beginning, you might be able to avoid this task, and save some money down the road.

Prenuptial agreements also help you to change the law. For example, right now in Florida, there has been an ongoing debate about alimony. When you go to court, a judge has to follow state law regarding alimony.

However, through prenuptial agreements you can modify Florida’s legal standards for awarding alimony, in addition to modifying what the current law says about the amount of support and the duration of the alimony period.

The Prenup Millennial Challenge

For generations, prenuptial agreements have proven a sticking point for couples who deemed them unromantic. In some relationships, the contracts can signal a lack of trust or suggest that one person is foreseeing an end to the union.

But over time, the equation for when and why two people should marry has changed. In the 1970s, about 8 in 10 people had married by age 30, according to a U.S. census report. In 2016, that same percentage wasn’t reached until age 45.

Millennials are also less inclined to get married while they’re young and broke. More than half of people in their 20s and 30s say it is important for them to be financially secure before they get married, according to a 2015 survey by Allstate and the National Journal.

That increases the chance that when two people tie the knot, each will have a career or business that they want to protect with prenuptial agreements, financial advisers say.

In 1975, about 43 percent of women were stay-at-home moms or homemakers, according to the census report. In 2016, only 14 percent of women were home full time.

Prenuptial agreements are a relatively modern concept. It was only within the past 25 years or so that the contracts became widely accepted in most states, coinciding with the rise of divorce.

Prenups also have evolved as relationships have changed. In the ’70s, when couples generally married younger, prenuptial agreements were mainly used for estate-planning purposes.

They’re also emerging as a tool for dividing debt loads. About 41 percent of couples had student loan debt in 2013, compared with 17 percent in 1989, according to the census report. The size of that debt burden is growing as college becomes more expensive.

The Washington Post article is here.