Things to know before drafting and executing a prenuptial agreement: part I

Fifty or more years ago, both U.S. men and women tended to get married and start families at a younger age. For example, the U.S. Census reports that in 1950 the median age for a woman to marry was 20 and for a man, was 24. Fast-forward to 2010 and the median age for a first marriage is 27 for U.S. women and roughly 28 for U.S. men. Numerous factors are likely contributing to the fact that more men and women are waiting longer to marry.

Today in the U.S., more women than men are pursuing higher degrees. In fact the National Bureau of Economic Research reports that in 1970, only roughly 9 percent of bachelor degrees in the U.S. were earned by women. Fast forward to 2001 and that percentage jumped to 50, a number that continues to increase. More women pursing higher degrees and careers has resulted in many women and, as a result men, delaying marriage until their late 20s or early 30s.

In many cases by the time a man or woman meets someone, he or she is fairly established. An individual has probably worked for five or more years and likely has a savings and retirement account in addition to a car and home. It makes sense, therefore, that more individuals who decide to marry are also deciding to sign prenuptial agreements.

Most Minneapolis residents are likely familiar with the basic concept of a prenuptial agreement. Some may not, however, be familiar with what can and cannot be included in such a document as well as actions or inclusions that could potentially result in a prenup being deemed invalid.

In our next blog post, we'll provide information about what a prenuptial agreement can and cannot be used to accomplish as well as mistakes to avoid when drafting and executing a prenup.

Source: Census.gov, "Marriage data: 1890 to 2010," 2014

U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics, "AMERICA'S YOUNG ADULTS AT 27: LABOR MARKET ACTIVITY, EDUCATION, AND HOUSEHOLD COMPOSITION: RESULTS FROM A LONGITUDINAL SURVEY," March 26, 2014

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