A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract between married partners that stipulates the division of assets in the case of a divorce. Many reasons exist for why a couple would want to enter into such a contract. Though the idea of a prenuptial is sometimes criticized for being calculating, the practice, according to a survey of matrimonial lawyers, seems to be increasing in popularity, especially among people in their twenties and thirties.
According to an article in the New York Times, the millennial generation favor prenuptial agreements for a few possible reasons. One reason is that this generation enters marriage later in life, when they have already built up a few assets. In the past, couples marrying in their early twenties had few assets to be concerned about. The changing role of women over the years also likely plays a role. Women now are more likely to have a good income, altering the dynamics of these legal contracts. Now, the agreement represents a business deal that the couple enters into as a team. Both partners see it as a way to protect their independence. Finally, young individuals view it as a practical matter, especially if they experienced the divorce of their parents.
An article by CNBC.com, referencing the same survey, identifies another salient point for an increase in prenuptial contracts among millennials. Many young people now have significant amounts of student debt. While a prenuptial contract can protect assets, it can also shelter an individual from having to take on the debt of the spouse. Student loan debt, now at a record $1.5 trillion, could affect the desire for a prenuptial contract.