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I’m a millennial. Do I need a prenup?

Even though the intent is for every marriage to last forever, it’s still smart to legally protect yourself.

That’s where a prenuptial agreement – known as a prenup – comes in. Traditionally, prenups protected one partner entering a marriage with significantly more money than the other. But these days there are a lot more reasons why a prenup makes sense for millennial couples.

Marriage is changing

Getting married in the 21st century is a lot different than it was in past generations. And because of these differences, more engaged couples are turning to prenups for a variety of reasons.

Millennials are getting married later in life than previous generations. When partners come into a marriage as older adults, they may have already established themselves financially. This includes having a retirement account, owning a business or property, owning stocks or having significant debt, all of which can be addressed in a prenup.

Additionally, a third of millennials come from homes with single or divorced parents. This gives them a more realistic view about the possibility of divorce than previous generations had.

New roles

Previously, prenups were often seen as protecting the man in the marriage, who was the main breadwinner. In 1980, only 13 percent of women earned at least half of a couple’s earnings. Today, that number is at 31 percent and rising.

With the gender pay gap closing and new roles and responsibilities at home, prenups have the potential to protect more people in more situations.

Consider the state

Texas is a community property state. That means that assets, property and debts acquired during the marriage will likely be community property and divided equally between each spouse in a divorce. Things that are not community property – and thus not divided equally in a divorce – include gifts, family heirlooms, things purchased before the marriage and inheritances.

A valid prenup lets you take control away from the state on how to divide property in your divorce.

A dose of realism

Though a prenuptial agreement is not exactly romantic, it can provide critical protection. And if you are getting married and have property or interests to protect, a prenup can be worth considering.

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