We’ve read about it for years, and we’re finally seeing it in our practice: prenuptial agreements are definitely on the rise.
More and more couples are signing their prenuptial contracts before the big day, and for good reason. The idea of proposing a prenuptial agreement is something that, in not-so-distant memory, caused intended spouses to recoil. Prenuptial agreements were considered unromantic and unfathomably cold; a practice reserved for the extremely rich and famous. Pre- and postnuptials weren’t thought of as something for the masses. In recent years, however, prenuptial agreements are increasingly becoming a necessary part of the marriage process; a routine. Couples from all walks of life, ages, and backgrounds are beginning to view prenups as a prerequisite to marriage. So why the sudden shift in sentiment?
Younger couples and those on their second or third marriage are leading the charge when it comes to the substantial increase in pre- and postnuptial agreements (cite). Studies are showing that younger people are waiting longer to get married than their parents did, going through more counseling before and during their marriages, and planning longer engagements than ever. Experts state that at least part of the source of this cautiousness is the exposure young adults have already had to the negative effects of divorce. Watching their parents or friends’ parents go through a costly and harrowing divorce battle was enough to at least instill a sense of practicality when it comes to divorce and marriage; younger folks often understand than an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Of course, the older generations arguably have even more cause to be cautious about marriage. Many of these couples have often been through a “first marriage” and have experienced firsthand the headaches that a divorce can cause.
It makes complete sense that, in light of all of this, that an increasing number of people want to do whatever they are able in order to avoid a chaotic and costly divorce. Frankly put, these couples understand that the best way to do this is by drafting a prenuptial agreement before the marriage even begins. Whether it’s due to better education and information availability, or through the advice of a financial advisor, attorney, or family member, these couples have often decided to opt into a practical approach to their marriage contract.
Most marrying couples coming in for a prenuptial agreement also understand that prenuptial agreements do not necessarily arise out of the desire to hoard money from a potential spouse. A prenup may be used to guard a spouse from a debt incurred by the other spouse. It may be put in place to ensure that a spouse is properly “taken care of” in the event of a split. A prenuptial contract may also even be put in place to give a spouse more than what he or she would typically be entitled to according to a divorce court.