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Delayed marriage and student debt driving prenuptial agreements

Prenuptial agreements have become a much more common part of wedding planning in Ohio than they used to be. A survey of attorneys conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that over half of respondents had experienced an increase in requests for prenuptial agreements. The past 20 years have overseen a quintupling of prenuptial agreements, and younger people in the 18-to-34 age range are seeking contracts prior to marriage in increasing numbers. Their tendency to get married later in life than previous generations and student loan debt have created valid reasons for establishing the terms of a divorce should one occur.

Currently, the average age of first marriage for men is 29 and 27 for women. A generation ago, those average ages were 26 for men and 23 for women. The addition of a few years of single life means that individuals have a chance to accumulate personal assets like a retirement plan or real estate. With substantial finances at stake when they enter a marriage, young people want to reduce financial risks in the event of divorce.

Many soon-to-be spouses hold large student loan debts today. As of 2017, the average debt held by a college graduate totals $38,000. A contested divorce could leave a spouse owing a portion of the other spouse's student loan.

A person who wants to create a prenuptial plan might want legal advice. An attorney may describe how divorce laws are likely to divide property at the end of a marriage. Other considerations like visitation and child custody may also be addressed within a prenuptial agreement. With legal support, a person might succeed in creating a contract that protects personal assets and prevents costly litigation if the marital relationship ends.

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