It is no secret that young adults are shaking up societal ideas of what adulthood should look like. From attending college to buying a home and having children, millennials are carving out their own paths through life. This includes reshaping ideas about misunderstood family law practices, such as creating prenuptial agreements.

Many people in Ohio have a negative perception of prenups. Even mentioning the word “prenup” can bring to mind the image of an intensely wealthy couple who is banking on a future divorce. While these documents do protect individuals in case of a divorce, they are not an indicator of divorce nor are they just for the very wealthy.

What does a prenup protect?

A prenuptial agreement can protect a wide range of personal interests. With that being said, prenups most frequently protect things involving money. A divorce could affect things like savings accounts, investments, vehicles and other forms of personal wealth. With a prenup, couples could agree to leave these things out of property division. In short, it ensures that all separate property stays that way.

However, it is not always about personal interests. Some parents with children from past relationships choose to use prenups to make sure some of their money is set aside and protected specifically for those children.

Prenuptials are trendier than ever

Unlike their parents, millennials are approaching prenups with a more open mind. Young adults are generally delaying marriage for longer than past generations, which gives them time to build more personal wealth. Come marriage time, protecting that wealth is important.

It is not all about keeping personal property safe, though. In many cases, soon-to-be-married couples want to protect themselves from each other’s debts. Credit cards, student loans and other significant debts are common burdens among young adults. Debts incurred before a marriage are usually separate and are not divided during a divorce, but putting in safeguards is still a good idea. A prenup can also help protect against new debts a spouse might take on during the marriage.

Don’t let prenups scare you

The reality is that couples divorce every day whether they had a prenup or not. Getting a prenuptial does not guarantee that any given couple will divorce, but it does guarantee that they will have some level of protection should they decide they are no longer happy in their marriage.

Deciding to get a prenup is just the first step in what can actually be a pleasant journey. Many Ohio couples find that this is a great opportunity to discuss otherwise difficult topics, such as finances and personal goals. This can even lay a foundation for open communication in the future. However, drafting enforceable prenuptial agreements can be difficult, so consulting with an experienced attorney is usually a good idea.