Traditionally, prenuptial agreements were most common among young adults from wealthy families and people getting married for the second or third time.
In Illinois and across the United States, millennials (people born between 1981 and 1996) are finding their own reasons to enter into prenups.
Until death — or divorce — do us part
The millennial generation is changing the way society looks at prenuptial agreements, according to a recent report in The Wall Street Journal.
Not long ago, prenups were used by wealthy families and older couples who were previously married to protect assets in case of a divorce. Now, younger adults in all income brackets are utilizing prenups, in part to adapt to changes in society.
Experts note many millennials come from broken homes, and they have witnessed firsthand what happened when their parents divorced. Consequently, they want to avoid financial disagreements that can turn into bitter legal battles that tear families apart.
The attitudes of society are evolving too. For many younger couples, it makes sense to discuss money before tying the knot. It’s a topic that their parents or grandparents never would have considered (although later they may have thought it would have been a good idea).
Everything from debts to pets
Among the issues being addressed by Illinois millennials in prenuptial agreements are:
- Student loan and credit card debt. Couples recognize the burden that debts bring into a marriage. Some add a provision to their prenup that marital assets used to pay off these debts are reimbursed if the marriage ends in a divorce.
- Frozen embryos. Couples who delay having children often choose in vitro fertilization, where the resulting embryos are frozen. A prenuptial agreement can address what happens to the embryos if the couple divorces.
- People holding off on starting a family often adopt pets. One couple cited by The Journal went as far in their prenuptial agreement to set up a visitation schedule, the payment of veterinary bills and pet insurance, and other issues for their two dogs.
- Social media. The parents and grandparents of millennials did not have to worry about what their former partner might post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other social media platforms. Lawyers say it can be a free speech issue, but attorneys try to include clauses that prohibit the spreading of disparaging information.
Not your parents’ divorce
The more you look into a prenuptial agreement, the more you become aware of complex legal issues.
You may be in love now, but later you may be in the fight of your life over finances, property, and other matters. To avoid potential problems down the road, you should put everything in writing so that there are no misunderstandings.
This can mean regularly reviewing and updating your prenup, just as you would your will. Major life changes can happen in the blink of an eye — buying a house and other property, having children, and so on. Leaving anything to chance can lead to mistakes and regrets, as well as a contentious — and expensive — divorce.
The Illinois family law attorneys at Courtney Clark Law, P.C. in Belleville have more than 40 years of combined experience handling cases like yours. Our team knows the issues you face in drawing up a prenuptial agreement. And we know the issues that have not even occurred to you. That’s why we will take the time to get to know you personally and craft a prenup that best meets your interests.
See how an experienced family law attorney can help you.
Contact us today for a free consultation.