Millennials have a more modern understanding of marriage than the old fogeys, which is resulting in a lot more prenups, matrimonial lawyers say.
Prenuptial agreements, legal documents that specify how a couple will split up their money if they divorce, are on the rise among the generation of 18-to-34-year-olds. The growing trend is a reflection of a much broader millennial attitude: being realistic rather than romantic.
For example, millennials are marrying later than previous generations. After all, there’s no need to rush that shit if you truly intend to spend the rest of your lives together.
When kids paired off at 18, they usually couldn’t rub two nickels together, so there was no need to argue over how to split the empty piggy bank. Marrying in your 30’s, however, creates a different financial situation. An extra decade of hoarding away bits income like squirrels burying acorns adds up.
People have more to protect if their marriage goes up in flames. And there’s no illusions about how likely we are to see our relationships crash and burn. More than one-third of millennials grew up with single or divorced parents.
Romantic norms have also changed because women play a different role in today’s institutions. In the work force and in marriage. Prenups traditionally protect the breadwinner in the relationship, the man who spent hard days at the business factory. Today, in about a third of American couples, women bring in half or more of the earnings.
In the Betty Housewife/ Bob Businessman model, suggesting a prenup would often harbor resentment between a couple. In the modern model, where there are partnerships of lady-doctors and stay-at-home dads, spouses come to prenup agreements as a team.
Of course, matrimony isn’t the only thing younger generations are postponing. Most know the natural progression after marriage is the minivan full of screaming rugrats and the white picket fence in suburban hell. For a ton of reasons, millennials don’t want kids. It’s only natural that they’d bring its precursors to a screeching halt.
Marriage is a legally-binding contract, and there’s no need to enter it without protection. No matter how blissful your relationship may be, you might someday find your partner enjoys kicking puppies or masturbates to My Little Pony porn, and want to end your marriage with a swift seppuku. A prenup would make that possible.
Millennials are shameless in their pursuit of personal life goals and individual careers, so it’s no surprise that we aren’t abandoning those priorities at the altar. Ultimately, we’ve already killed department stores, golf, napkins, Applebee’s, hangout sitcoms, marmalade, hotels, fabric softener, the 9-to-5 workday and the Canadian tourism industry. Killing the messy divorce would be one of our best murders yet.