Heymann & Fletcher

Millennials face an entirely new set of family legal issues

Young people today have a vastly different experience of life than their parents or grandparents enjoyed. Advancements in technology have forever altered the way that we live, work and interact with one another. When young people in New Jersey prepare to marry, they have a unique set of family legal issues that need to be addressed. To that end, the prenuptial agreements that they create are very different from those used in decades past.

Prenups of old were primarily focused on matters of inheritance. They were drafted to protect the spouse who expected to inherit property, often at the insistence of the generation who currently held the property in question. Overwhelmingly, they were written to favor the moneyed spouse.

Today, however, prenups are often used to protect the intellectual property of one or both parties. Younger couples want to make the best possible financial decisions for their future, and that includes ensuring that the eventual fruits of their innovation and ingenuity are protected. Today's couples are also less likely to allow prenup negotiations to become a source of contention in their relationship.

Another set of family legal issues that New Jersey couples address in their prenup involves debt. Determining how debt would be divided in the event of a divorce is important. That is especially true for couples where one party has accumulated high levels of debt building a business or perfecting a product. In this way, a prenup can be viewed as a means of protecting each other from taking on a debt burden that is not directly tied to their own entrepreneurial efforts.

Source: chicagotribune.com, "Why you're more likely to have a prenup than your parents were", Jonnelle Marte, Aug. 7, 2017

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