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Family law: Prenuptial agreements on the rise with millennials

Not too long ago, asking for a prenup was seen as a sign of distrust in a partner or lack of confidence in upcoming nuptials. Now most people understand that prenuptial agreements play an important role in asset protection. Like in many other big changes, millennials are leading the way on this significant family law shift. 

Young people in Alabama are getting married much less frequently than their parents and grandparents did. Most young adults prefer to go to college and establish a career before they even consider tying the knot, so by the time it comes to pick out rings they are usually sitting on some serious assets. Retirement savings, vehicles, and even homes can all start out as personal property, and then through commingling during the marriage end up as marital property that must be split during asset division. 

Protecting their own assets is not the only reason that millennials are saying yes to prenups. Attending college is incredibly expensive, and most graduates carry lots of student loan debt. Marrying someone with far more debt brings on its own kind of risk, so many choose to include specific language that addresses how to handle this debt during a divorce. 

Without a prenup, couples usually have to adhere to Alabama's family law when it comes to dividing assets. Current state law follows equitable distribution guidelines, which requires that assets be split in a manner that is equitable but not necessarily equal. A prenuptial agreement can provide alternative division methods and asset protections for young couples who may be starting out their marriage with significant amounts of property and debt. 

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