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’ 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.”
As more millennials put off marriage until later in life than previous generations, they are more likely to have careers, businesses and property. And that, financial advisers say, has made them more protective of what they have built. As a result, the prenuptial agreement is starting to lose its taboo.
For generations, the 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, 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.
Now, some couples are using prenups as a way for each person to protect any assets they accumulated – be it a modest condo or a promising start-up. The agreements can also help people protect future income at a time when it’s not unheard of for a popular smartphone app to bring sudden wealth or for a successful side gig to turn into a full-blown business.
And in the era of rising student loan debt, prenups have emerged as a way for couples to say upfront how they would like to separate their debt loads in the event of a divorce.
“Kids today are saying, ‘How do I protect my ideas?’ ” said John Voltaggio, a wealth manager at financial firm Northern Trust who has noticed an increase in the number of young couples interested in prenups. “They’re not shy about talking to their fiances about it.”
A 2016 survey from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, a trade association for divorce lawyers, found that 62 percent of members saw an increase in the number of couples seeking prenups over the past three years. And 51 percent said they noticed more millennials asking for the agreements.
Shawn Poynter / For The Washington Post
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, said John Slowiaczek, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
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, Slowiaczek said. And more commonly, those were situations where one partner had significantly more wealth or stood to inherit money.
But prenups aren’t only for the rich. As young people have become more likely to delay marriage until they are more financially secure, prenups also have become a way for partners to protect their assets and future income, Slowiaczek said.
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.
New college graduates left school with an average $30,100 in student loans in 2015, more than triple the average debt load of $9,400 in 1993, according to the Institute for College Access and Success, which tracks student loan debts. In situations where one partner has significantly more debt than the other, a prenup can detail who would be responsible for paying that debt should the two divorce, Slowiaczek said.
Some couples are still using prenups for more traditional reasons. Christopher Lee, 29, talked to his parents and then his fiancee about a prenup within days of his proposal. Lee said he knew the agreement would be important for his parents, who have a pharmaceutical consulting business and want to make sure any assets they pass along to their children would stay in the family in the event of a divorce.
Lee said that he views the agreement as a form of “insurance” to keep his parents at ease and that his fiancee is “totally on board.”
They’ll finish the paperwork before they say their vows near Denver in August – and they hope to never have to use it, he said.
To be sure, prenups are still off limits for plenty of couples. Some people view the agreements as the first step to a divorce.
The contracts may also not always make sense for two people with similar financial situations.
Tyler Dolan, a 29-year-old financial planner who works mostly with millennials, said the clients he works with are more preoccupied with paying down loans and opening 401(k)s than signing prenups. But the issue comes up with people who have been married previously or who have children from a prior relationship.
Some couples are turning to legal agreements after getting married to lay out how they would divide any property, savings and debt accumulated after tying the knot.
Phoebe Gavin, 30, didn’t sign a prenup when she married her husband six years ago. But now that the two are planning to invest in several rental properties, they have agreed to draw up a postnuptial agreement.
The document, which they hope to formalize before they buy their first investment property at the end of next year, will lay out a plan for how they would divide their properties if they ever decided to separate. Gavin broached the topic before the two bought their first home in March, when she realized there could potentially be hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line, if not more.
- Christopher Lee - Life on a timeline, interviews, net worth ... - February 22nd, 2019
- Christopher Lee Gets Heartfelt Tribute From Lord of the ... - February 14th, 2019
- Accused killer Christopher Lee wants you to know why he ... - February 9th, 2019
- Christopher Lee sentenced to life in prison for killing Erin ... - February 6th, 2019
- Bankruptcy Attorney Christopher Lee Offers a Helping Hand ... - January 27th, 2019
- Christopher Lee | Wookieepedia | FANDOM powered by Wikia - January 27th, 2019
- Christopher Lee Dies at 93; Actor Breathed Life Into ... - December 21st, 2018
- Papergreat: RIP, Sir Christopher Lee, champion of literature - December 21st, 2018
- Christopher Lee Designs & Apparel - 30 Photos - Printing ... - December 19th, 2018
- Dr. Christopher Lee, MD - Book an Appointment - Vineland, NJ - November 30th, 2018
- Dr. Christopher Lee, MD - Book an Appointment - Saint Clair ... - November 24th, 2018
- Remembering Sir Christopher Lee on his birthday (27 May 1922 ... - November 14th, 2018
- WWII veteran Christopher Lee corrected "Lord of the Rings ... - November 10th, 2018
- Christopher Lee | Disney Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia - October 18th, 2018
- Christopher Lee - Connell School of Nursing - Boston College - September 17th, 2018
- Christopher Lee, L.Ac. - Acupuncture - 110 La Casa Via ... - August 29th, 2018
- Christopher S. Lee, MD, MBA. Orthopedic Surgeon, Burbank ... - August 20th, 2018
- Christopher Lee - 15 Character Images | Behind The Voice Actors - July 11th, 2018
- Christopher Lee | Cinemorgue Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia - July 3rd, 2018
- Christopher Lee - Actor, Film Actor - Biography - June 30th, 2018
- Christopher Lee | English actor | Britannica.com - June 18th, 2018
- Battery suspect joins brother in jail - Muncie Star Press - September 7th, 2017
- Two arrested for killing Waterloo native in Florida - Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier - September 7th, 2017
- It's the DACA Decision, Not Hurricane Harvey, That May Tear Houston Apart - New York Times - September 7th, 2017
- 2 arrested, including former employee, accused of killing business owner in Pinellas Co. - ABC Action News - September 6th, 2017
- Motorcyclist killed in Interstate 494 crash after chase by Edina police is identified - Minneapolis Star Tribune - September 6th, 2017
- Nelda Lee Lair - White Mountain Independent - September 6th, 2017
- Arrests, incidents reports for Sept. 1-4, 2017 - Cullman Times Online - September 6th, 2017
- Oconee County police blotter - Online Athens - September 2nd, 2017
- 2 arrested in shooting case - Wise County Messenger - September 2nd, 2017
- Christopher Lee Parsons - Fauquier Times - September 1st, 2017
- Tarpon Springs police search for missing, endangered man with autism - WFLA - August 31st, 2017
- General Session Court Cases Heard Aug. 7 - Greeneville Sun - August 29th, 2017
- Blaise's Bad Movie Guide: 'Horror Express' - Valley Advocate - August 28th, 2017
- Student President's position revoked, election rules violated - The Channels - August 28th, 2017
- Five charged in series of break-ins - The Robesonian - August 24th, 2017
- Christopher Columbus Statue in New York City Could Be Considered for Removal - NBCNews.com - August 24th, 2017
- Aug. 24 police reports - The Decatur Daily - August 24th, 2017
- Marion County Sheriff Report - Journal Express - August 24th, 2017
- OKC party bus crash - Daily O'Collegian - August 22nd, 2017
- Christopher Columbus monument vandalized in Baltimore - Baltimore Sun - August 22nd, 2017
- Boston police clash with protesters after free speech rally - VICE News - August 19th, 2017
- BY HANK REINEKE - Cinema Retro - August 19th, 2017
- Columbia County police activity - Pamplin Media Group - August 19th, 2017
- Christopher Lee Smith - Cookeville Herald Citizen - August 17th, 2017
- Obituary - Christopher Lee Henningfeld - Sierra Star - August 17th, 2017
- 8-17 Crime Briefs - Norman Transcript - August 17th, 2017
- Police calls - update for Aug. 16, 2017 - Topeka Capital Journal - August 17th, 2017
- Three charged in shooting death of 12-year-old Victorville girl - Los Angeles Times - August 17th, 2017
- Trio charged in fatal shooting of Victorville girl - Press-Enterprise - August 16th, 2017
- Police Blotter: Aug. 13, 2017 - pharostribune.com - August 14th, 2017
- Alleged social worker shooter files $23M civil lawsuit - Greensboro News & Record - August 13th, 2017
- Elk Mound football aims for playoff three-peat - Chippewa Herald - August 12th, 2017
- 8-12-17 Police Reports - Therogersvillereview - August 12th, 2017
- August 11 Public Record - Lexington Dispatch - August 10th, 2017
- Actors Almost Cast in Star Wars Movies - MovieWeb - August 10th, 2017
- Aug. 9 public safety round-up - Pamplin Media Group - August 10th, 2017
- How to cook without recipes: Master these four elements and never look back - National Post - August 9th, 2017
- COURT: Latest results from Chesterfield magistrates' court - Derbyshire Times - August 8th, 2017
- Former inmate indicted on illicit drug charges - Huntington Herald Dispatch - August 8th, 2017
- GO-GETTERS - Columbia Daily Tribune - August 7th, 2017
- Daily Record, August 5th, 2017 | News, Sports, Jobs - Times ... - Marshalltown Times Republican - August 5th, 2017
- Why you're more likely to have a prenup than your parents were - Washington Post - August 5th, 2017
- Prince Philip waves goodbye to a career of service, dedication... and gaffes - The Sydney Morning Herald - August 2nd, 2017
- Prosecutors request more mental testing in Fayetteville murder case - Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - August 2nd, 2017
- Lake Charles man accused of choking pregnant woman in front of child - KATC Lafayette News - July 31st, 2017
- Lake Charles man charged after hitting pregnant woman in face, choking her until she passes out - 12newsnow.com - July 31st, 2017
- China Inc.'s Next Debt Headache Is $580 Billion of Put Options Coming Due - Bloomberg - July 31st, 2017
- Tampa man arrested in fatal motel shooting | Tampa Bay Times - Tampabay.com (blog) - July 31st, 2017
- Leslie Potts - Murfreesboro Post - July 31st, 2017
- LOVELL,, Harvey Lee - Roanoke Times - July 30th, 2017
- China Bond Buyers Quiz Taxi Drivers to See If a Credit Is Good - Bloomberg - July 30th, 2017
- Eiko Ishioka: Celebrating the designer's extraordinary costumes for Bram Stoker's Dracula - The Independent - July 12th, 2017
- Home Movies/Out on Digital: July 13, 2017 - Shepherd Express - July 11th, 2017
- Leptospirosis rears its ugly head - The Star Online - July 11th, 2017
- Arrests, July 11, 2017 - News-Press Now - July 11th, 2017
- Lubbock Police Arrest 16-Year-Old Boy Wanted in Murder - KFYO.com - News/Talk 790 KFYO - July 8th, 2017
- Teen arrested for Selma shooting that left star athlete dead - Idaho Statesman - July 8th, 2017
- Hip and shoulder ends police chase - Perth Now - July 6th, 2017
- Man in Mercedes who 'rammed' Fremantle parking inspector arrested after chase - WAtoday - July 6th, 2017
Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero