Views on dating, marriage and divorce are very different now than they were at the turn of the century. Experts say that these changes have contributed—in large part—to a growing trend among the millennial generation: a rise in prenuptial agreements.

A prenuptial agreement is a contract a couple signs prior to tying the knot, dictating how their assets will be divided in the event that their marriage doesn’t last. Historically, people have looked with disdain on a prenuptial agreement—believing that a partner who pushes for such a contract distrusts the relationship’s longevity. So why is the new wave of young adults trending in favor of prenups?

  • Getting married later. Currently in the U.S., 80 percent of people get married by the age of 45. 40 years ago, that percentage corresponded to age 30. People who get married later on in life tend to have built up more property, savings and other assets, which they have a greater interest in protecting.
  • Avoiding debt. Many millennials struggled to find work during the economic recession and consequently view financial security as something that is fleeting. In addition, student loan debt is at an all-time high. Students graduate owing an average of $30,000. As a result, many fiancés want to avoid inheriting their partners’ financial problems when they get married.
  • Marriage is less romanticized. Dating isn’t the romantic courtship it used to be. Nowadays, many millennials find their life partners simply by swiping right on a dating app. In addition, millennials grew up in an era when divorce was commonplace. Therefore, millennials are inclined to view marriage more practically, similar to a business partnership—which may or may not last forever.

While you wouldn’t go into business with someone you didn’t trust, you also wouldn’t enter into that partnership without a contract. By and large, millennials believe the same holds true for marriage.

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