What are marital agreements?

There are two types of marital agreements: the prenuptial agreement, and the postnuptial agreement. Most people are familiar with the prenuptial agreement, or prenup – a contract engaged couples enter into that governs the legal terms of their marriage, and typically their possible divorce. A postnup is the same, but it is made after the marriage rather than before. In this series, we’ll discuss both types of marital agreements, their features and terms, what it takes for them to be legally effective, reasons why you might want to consider a prenup or postnup, and more.

Couple holding hands. Marital agreements

Prenuptial agreements on the rise among millennials

According to a recent survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, or AAML, 51% of matrimonial lawyers report seeing an increase in millennial clients asking for prenups, and 62% report that requests for prenups have been on the rise among their entire client base over the last three years. Only 1% of the lawyers surveyed reported a decrease in marital agreements in their practice. (1)

One reason experts have postulated to explain this increase in requests for marital agreements is that people in general, and millennials in particular, are getting married later in life than previous generations have. This means they’re entering their marriages with more personal property they would like to protect in the event of divorce.

Another factor influencing the rise in popularity of marital agreements in the growing involvement of women in the work force over the past few decades. In 1980, 13% of women who cohabited with their male partners contributed 50% or more of the couple’s income. Today, that figure has more than doubled, climbing to 31%. (2)

Check back soon for Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are on the rise – here’s what you need to know, Part 2. In the meantime, check out our page on premarital and postmarital agreements.

Sources cited:

1 – http://aaml.org/about-the-academy/press/press-releases/prenuptial-agreements-rise-finds-survey

2 – http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/03/15/for-womens-history-month-a-look-at-gender-gains-and-gaps-in-the-u-s/