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Better to be safe than sorry? Pre-nups on the rise

Most people agree that, where possible, it is better to be safe than sorry. But what about when it comes to signing a prenuptial agreement?

A prenuptial (or Contracting Out) agreement decides how relationship property will be divided in the event of a separation or divorce. It is not the most romantic idea, requiring couples to prepare for the worst before their life together has even begun. However it seems millennials in the U.S would prefer to be safe than sorry.

In a recent poll of matrimonial lawyers in the U.S, over half of the respondents reported an increase of couples aged between 18-34 years old signing a ‘pre-nup’ in the past 3 years. With people now settling down later in life, individuals are entering relationships with significantly more to protect. A ‘pre-nup’ is a pragmatic way for people to safeguard their assets in case “till death do us part” does not go as planned.

While protecting traditional assets such as real estate and inheritances continues to motivate signing a prenuptial agreement, many millennials are now using them to provide protection for intellectual property such as songs, films, software, apps, and even technology ideas yet to be executed.

Whether this trend is also true among kiwi millennial couples is uncertain, however some situations in particular could mean a pre-nup (also known as a Contracting Out agreement) is a smart move. For parents who assist their children in buying their first home, it can prevent an equal split of their contribution in the event of a relationship breakdown. If assets are held in a family trust, a Contracting Out agreement can also ensure the trust assets will be dealt with in a way that was intended by those who set up the trust. If one person in the relationship has built a successful business, a ‘pre-nup’ could keep the business interests together even if the relationship falls apart.

If you are living with someone, getting married or re-married, it is important to consider your options. While it is not the easiest or most romantic conversation to have, signing a Contracting Out agreement now could safeguard you and your assets down the line.

Talk to our Family lawyers today for more information.

For more reading on this topic, check out a recent American article: www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-01/prenups-are-all-the-rage-with-millennials

December 2016