There has always been a generation gap at work in America, given the technological, social and other changes that constantly evolve in a dynamic society. What was once commonplace and comfortable for grandparents was rebelled against by their children and is now once again being challenged in successive family generations.
Family law has been altered in fundamental ways by the changing norms and expectations of the American people over time. Custody, visitation and parenting plan norms have evolved greatly in recent years. Multiple and exciting family variants now supplement yesteryear’s prototypical “nuclear” family of mom, dad and the kids under one roof. Women are fully engaged in the outside-the-home workforce as never before.
And the so-called Millennial demographic is shaking things up. As a recent Atlantic article notes, legions of young married couples across the country, including in Arizona, are changing customary thinking regarding money management inside marriage.
And that starts with the noted predisposition of many married partners in their 20s and 30s to keep their finances separate from each other. The long-held philosophy that a joint-account arrangement better promotes love and trust is not as widely believed as it once was, and growing numbers of Millennials are unwilling to embrace it.
In fact, many of them can readily offer up arguments to support the superiority of a “my money and your money” marital philosophy. Many Millennials are marrying after achieving some occupational success. One commentator in the Atlantic piece says that the desire to keep their financial life separate is about “wanting to maintain one’s sense of identity, individuality and autonomy.” That empowerment can enable one individual to more confidently support a partner – who is doing the same – and a marriage.
Unsurprisingly, many Millennials who strongly endorse separate accounts are women, who are progressively entering the workforce and prospering as never before.
“It’s my work – it’s my money,” notes one of them.
As far as the “separate accounts reduces trust” argument goes, many Millennials flatly reject it. One representative view posits that both partners having financial security and independence can only enhance marital confidence and better ensure that a positive outcome will ensue if/when financial difficulties are encountered.