As Millennials, most of us have grown up with grandparents who met, fell in love, and married at an early age. Some of our parents did the same. In many households, the idea of a prenuptial agreement was viewed as a dark cloud or something that indicated that a marriage would not last. Millennials have, more and more frequently, and with later and later ages of getting married, begun utilizing prenups regularly. This has also, then, impacted how millennials get divorced.
In Colorado, Section 3 of Title 14 governs premarital and marital agreements. In a nutshell, both agreements contain largely the same information, their timelines just differ. A premarital agreement is an “agreement between individuals who intend to marry which affirms, modifies or waives a marital right or obligation during the marriage or at legal separation, marital dissolution, death of one of the spouses, or the occurrence or nonoccurrence of any other event.” § 14-3-302(5), C.R.S. A marital agreement is the same, except it is entered between individuals who intend to remain married, instead of individuals who are anticipating marriage. § 14-3-302(2), C.R.S.
While the “prenup” has largely been coined as something only those in high socioeconomic statuses utilize, millennials are entering into prenups more frequently, regardless of their financial situation. According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, there is a 62% spike in prenup signings, and most of those signors are millennials. There are many different reasons for this, one large reason being that millennials are working longer, acquiring more student debt, marrying later and aiming to protect themselves in the event of divorce.
Because most millennials are getting married later in life, they are acquiring more assets before marriage. This can include savings, property, retirement, stocks, investment accounts, business interests, and much more. There has been an increase in the “millennial prenup” given that oftentimes there is more to protect when entering into a marriage, both the current value of your assets and any increase in value of certain property you are bringing into the marriage.
Millennials seem to have a business-like mindset when singing a prenup. Most are detailing their assets (and their student loans) and aiming to mitigate any headache that might come from a divorce later on. Most refuse to think of it as a “romance killer” and rather, as a tool to protect both parties. As the saying goes, nobody gets married to get divorced, but millennials are certainly thinking ahead and planning for any outcome. In these unpredictable times, a little bit of certainty offers peace of mind.
Signing a prenuptial agreement often involves considering what assets you may acquire later. This can include potential inheritances, potential future business interests, property purchases, and more. Prenuptial agreements have become a tool, instead of a buzzkill, and oftentimes helps promote the hard conversations couples should be having before they get married.
For help determining whether a prenuptial/marital agreement is right for you, or with the drafting of one, call the divorce and family law attorneys at GEM, (303) 317-3239, for a free consultation.
Authored by: Adeline Sultentich, Associate Attorney