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More milennials opt for prenups

Fewer young people in Wisconsin see marriage as a life goal, but when they do, they are more likely to pursue a prenuptial agreement in advance. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reported that 18- to 34-year-olds are particularly likely to seek a prenup before tying the knot. While the recent increase in millennial prenups is a current trend, it reflects the ongoing popularity of these types of agreements. Over the previous 20 years, the frequency of prenuptial agreements has multiplied five times over.

While young people often have fewer financial assets in general, especially as many struggle with underemployment or student debt, they can also have important reasons to seek prenuptial agreements. In the first place, people are marrying at older average ages than in the past. Spouses are more likely to have start-up businesses, retirement funds and advanced careers by the time that they marry. On average, men marry at 29 and women at 27; this is an increase of three and four years, respectively, over the average ages of marriage 30 years ago. They may want to protect their existing investments before entering into a marriage.

The use of prenups also can indicate financial insecurity about marriage. Only around 42 percent of Millennials identified marriage as a goal for their lives, but many also cited financial fears like unemployment or underemployment as a reason to avoid marriage. Much has been said about the weight of the student debt burden on young people, and some seek prenuptial agreements in order to clearly separate their respective student loan debts.

When a couple considers a prenuptial agreement, it is important that each party is represented by a family law attorney in the process. While engaged couples may worry about the legal aspect of prenup negotiations, legal representation is critical to ensure that each party's interests are protected.

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