A prenuptial agreement, or a “prenup,” is a legal document that outlines how a married couple will divide their assets should they decide to divorce. In the last 50 years, there has been an interesting shift in how young Americans conceptualize the institutions of marriage and divorce. Prenups are no longer the death of romance, but a practical solution to a worst-case scenario.
In 2016, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyer released a study that showed a significant increase in the number of millennials drafting prenuptial agreements. According to Joslin Davis, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, “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. A prenuptial agreement often represents the most effective way to address these concerns and safeguard individual assets before exchanging vows. Members of the millennial generation are particularly choosing prenups as the best option to cover separate property holdings, business interests, anticipated family inheritances and potential alimony claims.”
Another interesting factor to consider is the changing role of women in the workplace. Forty years ago, only 13% of women were able to match their male partner’s gross annual income. Today, that number has reportedly tripled. Millennials are drafting prenups as a team and working with family lawyers to make sure their determinations are reasonably fair to each party, not just the party who makes the most money.
Susan Shain, a freelance writer for the New York Times, discussed the evolution of the prenup in her article, “The Rise of the Millennial Prenup.” She interviewed Madeline Marzano-Lesnevich, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, who explained that “Most of the millennials we have dealt with really consider it a business deal…they both want to protect their independence, and what they’ve been working for.”
The Benefits of Drafting a Prenup
A marriage isn’t just the culmination of a romantic relationship, it’s also a legal and financial union. Likewise, a prenuptial agreement is more like an insurance policy than a divorce contract. These legal documents are an excellent option for individuals who own property, run a business, or have children from a previous relationship. Of course, these documents aren’t just for the wealthy. California is a community property state, which means that most assets and debts are split between divorcing parties. If divorce is in your future, this legal document can protect your interests, expedite the divorce process, and even safeguard your standard of living.
A prenuptial agreement can:
- Protect your personal assets and properties
- Resolve alimony issues
- State what happens to the family home and any shared businesses
- Provide for children from a previous relationship
- Determine how marital debts should be allocated upon divorce
- Place stipulations on pet custody
Schedule a Consultation & Explore Your Options
If you’re ready to negotiate and draft a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, contact the Fresno family lawyers at Arnold Law Group, APC. We can help you navigate the drafting process, address your questions and concerns, and facilitate productive negotiations with your future spouse.
Contact Arnold Law Group, APC at (559) 600-1263 to explore your legal options with an experienced legal professional.