Prenuptial agreements have played a role in modern marriage for decades, but they were once Niche documents only executed by those with significant personal wealth or a high-profile position in the public eye. That has changed with the increase in overall divorce rates.
Between the statistical likelihood of a divorce and more couples having two spouses that work in the family, prenuptial agreements have become increasingly common. People enter the marriage with assets they want to protect, and they want protections in case they make career concessions for the family unit.
Although you may realize that prenuptial agreements have become more common, you may not realize how frequently couples sign contracts before marriage. What percentage of newly-married couples negotiate prenuptial agreements during their engagements?
Millennials want to protect themselves
Prenuptial agreements no longer carry the stigma they once did. The younger generations, in particular, have embraced prenuptial agreements as a means of protecting themselves. They may have witnessed friends or parents going through a messy divorce and hope to spare themselves from that same fate.
In 2010, a survey of newly-married couples and those engaged to get married showed that just 3% of people reported signing a prenuptial agreement. That has changed in the last 12 years. In 2022, 15% of people responding overall said they have signed a marital agreement, and younger couples are definitely contributing to that uptick.
Researchers have found that roughly 40% of newlyweds and engaged couples between the ages of 18 and 34 report having negotiated the prenuptial agreement. Far from being something that only a handful of couples ever consider, the modern prenuptial agreement plays a role in two out of every five modern engagements involving younger adults.
Prenups are popular for a reason
Some people might point to the increase in couples executing prenuptial agreements as a sign that they may not approach the marriage with the right attitude. However, the majority of couples who end up divorced expected their marriages to last, which means that preparing for the worst does not necessarily mean planning to fail. Signing a prenuptial agreement just means protecting yourself against something you cannot currently predict.
Talking about a prenuptial agreement with your fiance could help both of you protect yourselves from the risks that come with a marriage.