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More millennials are executing prenuptial agreements, survey says


Summer is a popular time for weddings, but couples in Virginia who are planning their upcoming nuptials may also want to consider the possible paths their life may take after wedding bells ring. One way they can prepare for future possibilities is by executing a premarital (prenuptial) agreement prior to walking down the aisle. In a premarital agreement, couples can address financial issues they may face if they divorce.

For example, what assets will remain the separate property of each spouse and how marital assets will be divided between the spouses can be laid out in a premarital agreement. Premarital agreements can also lay out whether spousal maintenance will be paid, and if so, in what amount. One might expect that older couples, perhaps marrying for a second time, can benefit from a premarital agreement since they have accumulated a significant amount of assets over the years. However, a survey of matrimonial lawyers indicates that young adults, also known as "millennials" are increasingly seeing the benefits of executing a premarital agreement.

One reason more millennials are executing premarital agreements is that they are marrying at an older age than generations past. The fact that more women are working, and possibly earning more than their male partners, is another reason why millennials may want to draft a premarital agreement. And, according to the president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, millennials are treating premarital agreements more like business dealings, rather than emotional affairs. Finally, over one-third of millennials were raised by parents who were never married or had divorced, so they see divorce as a potential possibility they should be prepared for.

A premarital agreement can protect both parties' interests should their marriage not last. Of course, no one expects to divorce. But, the reality of the situation is that roughly half of marriages in the United States do not last. By preparing for this possibility through executing a premarital agreement, couples of any means and any age may ensure that the outcome of their divorce is fair to both spouses. In addition, with decisions relating to property division, spousal maintenance and other divorce legal issues already made, the entire divorce process may run more smoothly. In the end, premarital agreements may not be romantic, but they are practical and can serve both spouses well should their marriage end in divorce.

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