Why saying I do to a prenuptial agreement just makes sense
Gone are the days when the majority of men and women in the U.S. married straight out of high school. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, in 1950 the median age for first marriages among women was 21 and men, 23. Fast forward to 2015 and the median ages at which women and men marry have increased to 27 and 29. Today, not only are more people delaying marriage, but the national divorce rate also consistently hovers between 40 to 50 percent.
Individuals who wait until they are in their late 20s or older to marry have likely worked for several years and are therefore more likely to be financially established. By the time Mr. or Mrs. Right comes along, many individuals already have a condo or home, a 401(k) and own a vehicle. Additionally, a sizeable percentage have amassed a significant amount of debt with, according to The Wall Street Journal, 71 percent of college graduates who obtain a bachelor’s degree leave college with an average of $35,000 in student loan debt. Given these statistics, individuals who plan to say I do today would also be wise to say I do to signing a prenuptial agreement.
A prenuptial agreement helps protect an individual’s rights to retain the assets, property and belongings that he or she brings to a marriage. Additionally, a prenup can also be used to retain and protect one party’s financial stake in a family business and to absolve a party of repayment responsibilities for a spouse’s debts.
Having the conversation about a prenuptial agreement with a betrothed can be uncomfortable and even contentious. However, it can also help bring fiancées closer together by forcing them to reveal, discuss and make decisions about important financial topics that may otherwise cause friction within a marriage and certainly, in the event a couple subsequently splits, serve to prolong and add to the costs of a divorce.
Source: FindLaw.com, “Prenuptial Agreements,” March 1, 2016
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