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Why more millennials want prenuptial agreements

Arizona couples who are getting married may be more likely to first sign a prenuptial agreement than in earlier decades. The American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers reports an increase in the number of couples seeking prenuptial agreements, but a more recent development is a surge in millennials who want the document.

The 18-to-34 age group is getting married at later ages than their parents and grandparents did, and this means that they are more likely to have acquired a number of assets on their own. Entering the workforce during a difficult economy means that they may also be very concerned about holding onto any accumulated assets. A prenup is a way for them to protect real estate, stocks, retirement accounts and other assets from divorce.

On the other hand, many millennials are also carrying significant debt. A large chunk of this debt may be student loans since college tuition costs have skyrocketed. People may be concerned about having to pay part of an ex-spouses's debt if the marriage ends in divorce and may want a prenup that prevents this from happening.

Millennials may also have a different attitude about marriage than other generations. In one survey, just 42 percent said they considered marriage a life goal. The average millennial in another survey said they would postpone marriage for seven years in exchange for a big promotion.

Couples should be aware that prenuptial agreements are not a guarantee that there will not be a fight over property division. One spouse may have felt coerced into signing the prenup just before the wedding, and if this is the case, that spouse might challenge the prenup in court. Both spouses may benefit from retaining legal counsel before starting the divorce process. Child custody and visitation is outside the scope of a prenup and must be negotiated separately during a divorce.

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