WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Who gets the house? More importantly...who gets the DOG?
Compared to other generations, millennials are embracing prenuptial agreements in higher numbers. The trend could be partially rooted in seeing their parents go through divorces (and the financial aftermath) but is likely caused by the fact that millennials tend to marry later in life.
When they get to the alter they already have property, businesses, inheritance and children. All of which they want accounted for before they say "I do."
Prenups are sometimes forgotten because a young couple marries with few, if any, assets to begin with. But prenups also deal with future assets acquired throughout the marriage.
Some divorces have made national headlines when a marriage ends and a sizable business hangs in the balance. If it was started years into the marriage there is plenty of grey area over what is claimed if a prenup was never signed.
Millennials tend to carry heavy student loan debt - another issue they want ironed out on paper. Who's debt is who's and who is responsible for its repayment?
Wilmington family lawyer Brittany Hall of Cape Fear Family Law recommends starting the prenup process at least 90 days before the ceremony. Make a goal of having it signed 30 days out.
A shorter timeline could be interpreted later as signing under "duress" or "coercion." Moreover, who wants to be discussing a possible divorce plan just days before walking down the aisle?
Hall is also seeing more homosexual couples seek out prenup agreements. Many were in long-term relationships for years before their union could be considered legal in North Carolina. During that time houses were bought and other assets acquired.
At the risk that the laws could change again and compromise the validity of their marriages, Hall recommends wasting no time before getting it down on paper.
Even after you're married a couple can develop a "post"-nuptial agreement. In some cases Hall says they've helped keep couples together by making financial boundaries clear.