An increasing number of young people marrying in North Carolina and across the country is also making use of prenuptial agreements, according to a lawyers' organization. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers said that over the past 20 years, the frequency of prenuptial agreements has quintupled among people of all ages. However, in the past several years, the number of millennials in the 18 to 34 age range requesting prenups has grown in particular.
The matrimonial attorneys attributed this rising interest in prenuptial agreements to several factors, including the fact that many young people marry at later ages than people in the past. This means that they often have significant assets, careers or businesses before marriage, so the financial aspects of a prenup can be particularly compelling. In particular, people may want to protect their stake in a startup business or the retirement funds they have accumulated in the workplace. Men marry at an average age of 29 and women at 27, an increase of three and four years respectively over the average age in the 1980s.
In addition, the rise of student debt is also a factor with many millennials wishing to specify that their existing debts remain separate. Prenups can also provide a measure of security, especially when many younger people are not particularly interested in marriage as an institution. Around 42 percent of people 18 to 34 said that they see marriage as a goal in life, but financial insecurities may be a major contributor to this view.
Prenuptial agreements can be important in developing clear understandings of a financial relationship prior to marriage. Rather than a simple contemplation of divorce, prenups can also involve financial openness and disclosure. It's important that each person is represented by his or her own family law attorney during the process who can work to ensure his or her interests are protected.