A recent survey of attorneys who specialize in marriage showed a striking spike in couples asking for help making prenuptial agreements. A lot of the attorneys said the demand was unusually strong from people in roughly their 20s and 30s.
Fast changes mean good reasons for the prenup
Some simple data about Millennials, who are now roughly 24 to 39, shows plenty of logical reasons that prenuptial agreements would be common among them. Jokes about avocado toast can sit this one out.
Millennials are waiting until they are older before they marry. The typical age of first marriage is seven years older now than in 1968. Understandably, women at 28 and men at 30 years old are more likely to own significant financial assets than they did at 21 and 23. (Those are the typical ages of first marriage now versus 1968.)
In other words, when they marry, Millennials simply tend to have more to protect with a prenup.
The future weighs on people a bit more today
Besides assets, younger people also have significantly more debt than earlier generations when they marry for the first time.
Comparing Gen Xers in 1998 to Millennials in 2016, the median student debt jumped from $12,800 to $19,000, an increase of 50%. Perhaps worse, the percentage of these young households carrying student debt doubled.
Add the greater likelihood of car loans, home mortgages, medical bills, family commitments and/or business loans, and it makes sense this generation is less likely to marry on a whim one zany night. They are busy doing the math.
Will a Texas prenup hold up in another state?
Also unsurprisingly, Millennials are more willing to relocate for a better job and a better chance of meeting their financial obligations.
But consider this. Individual states make the marriage laws, not the federal government. And that includes prenups.
Luckily, the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) is on the case. This nonprofit group writes legislation that states can enact if they want. Producing over 300 uniform laws, with every state adopting at least some of them, the ULC sometimes makes American life a lot easier.
Texas and 27 other states plus the District of Columbia have all adopted the ULC’s act covering prenuptial agreements. The remaining 22 states also somehow recognize prenups, but before deciding to move to one of those, check into what a move might mean to your marriage.