Millennials getting married are protecting assets they don’t even have yet because they project they will make so much money down the line and they don’t want to lose it.
According to Peter Walzer, founding partner of family law firm Walzer Melcher LLP, he says that generation is thinking of “me,” meaning themselves more than thinking of “we,” or themselves as half of a couple.
“There is a more increased narcissism…what I see is when they come to me is they have sort of broken the last taboo. They’re not afraid to talk about money with their partner and they’re not afraid to think as me as opposed to we,” Peter says. “Also a view on millennials is that they want to balance their personal and professional life. So the ones I see coming in for prenups are interested in furthering themselves professionally.”
Peter says because of the tech boom and web start ups, there are a lot more entrepreneurs now, and they want to protect their ideas and business models. So the new prenups will include ways to protect ideas and thoughts consistent with building and protecting the future.
“It’s not unusual for a child prodigy who at age 25 has five or ten million and wants to protect that,” he says.
And even though some statistics say younger people are holding off getting married, Peter says he hasn’t seen that. They are getting married and they are overall interested in securing their future assets in case of divorce.
“They’re coming in openly talking about money and “I want it for myself’ and ‘I don’t want to share it,’” he says. “They ask ‘what am I gonna do, not we’
Maybe that’s a result of the high divorce rate they grew up with.”
It’s young businesswomen, mostly, who are requesting the future clause in their prenups- to protect themselves and not fork over money to their husband should they get divorced down the line.
“Women want to build their career then have children more now. So it’s ‘I don’t want you to take my money away after I have kids and reenter the workforce.’
Women doctors, lawyers, accountants, they are all professionals who want to secure their nest egg before they have kids,” Peter says.
There is a risk involved with adding these terms to a prenup—you’re basically gambling on everything going your way. For example, hammering something out that hasn’t happened yet can hurt one party, leaving them destitute.
“How we do it is to eliminate community property completely. It’s something you can’t identify yet, so better to eliminate the marital property completely. That eliminates the sharing of marital property.”
That means if you plan on making a lot of money, and you fall ill or get injured, your partner owes you nothing if you divorce. Even if they are multi-millionaires.
“I had one guy who added no community property into his prenup. He got sick, had a stroke and was out of work for 15 years,” Peter says. “In that time the wife became successful, built up a business, and when they split he got nothing. Their daughter was riling against the clause and I said ‘It was your father’s idea in the first place.’ There can always be a reversal of fortune.”
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