Female Generation Zers are keen to sign-up to practical, rather than romantic, agreements before walking down the aisle - a leading UK divorce lawyer says, as new online YouGov research reveals young people’s feelings towards prenuptial agreements ahead of marriage or a civil partnership.
A YouGov survey of 2,000 UK adults (18+)1 found that ‘generation practical prenup’ are planning for the future in a pragmatic way and want to protect their possessions, even though 86% of 18-24 years olds are not living with a romantic partner - 62% are single and 23% are in a relationship but not living together.
Commissioned by national law firm Stephensons, the survey showed that 42% of women from this age group would be likely to sign a prenup ahead of a marriage or civil partnership, compared to 36% of 18-24 men.
A ‘prenup’ is a written contract a couple enter into before marriage or a civil partnership, designed to set out ownership of assets and establish rights over joint and sole wealth including property, income, debt and inheritance, and how they want it to be divided if a separation is on the cards.
Towie star Gemma Collins recently went on-record stating that she would dump boyfriend James Argent, if he refused to sign a prenup before getting wed.
Radio 4’s soap, The Archers recently featured prenuptial agreements in the plot line, as Tom Archer contemplated one to protect his family business Bridge Farm, following a whirlwind marriage to Natasha.
Often the preserve of the rich and famous it is alleged that celebrities such as Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, Beyoncé and Jay Z and Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas have all signed prenups worth millions.
The YouGov survey also showed that 57% of females think businesses should be included in a prenup, compared to 53% of men.
While 42% of females also say a prenup should contain pets, compared to 35% of men.
Young women’s top priorities proved to be very sensible, with 75% favouring a home and second home when considering what should be included in a prenup (compared to 71% of men) and 69% choosing savings and investments (in comparison to 63% of men.)
Men aged 18-24 proved to be petrol-heads and wine snobs with 50% electing for cars and motorbikes (compared to 43% of women) and 31% saying that wine, whisky and gin collections should be included (in comparison to 13% of women.) Alcohol collections are very popular these days and can be worth some money.
Amanda Rimmer, a Partner in the family law division at Stephensons Solicitors LLP, said:
“The stigma of consulting a solicitor ahead of getting hitched has long ago disappeared. Generation Z has grown up influenced by celebrity culture and take a realistic approach to marriage or civil partnerships.
“It’s encouraging that young people, especially women, feel comfortable talking about money and want to protect their assets.
Amanda added: “Prenups are no longer just for the extremely wealthy. For many couples a pre-nuptial agreement is now as necessary as booking a wedding band, ahead of any future nuptials, and can be useful for individuals who have personal financial assets. This is an indication of the increasing number of roles now being taken by females in business ownership.
“If a relationship does end and 42%2 now do, then a prenup can help to protect you and your partner from greater financial and emotional stress. If prepared properly they are given substantial weight in court and while they are not an automatically binding legal document, they can help cut down areas of dispute.
“Without a prenup you run the risk of having to divide everything equally between you. Deciding to sign-up to this kind of agreement is a very personal decision and one you should make as a couple. I’d always recommend instructing a specialist family law solicitor who has experience in this field and finalising your agreement well in advance of your ceremony.”
1 Research commissioned by Stephensons Solicitors LLP and conducted by YouGov. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,064 adults, of which 136 were aged 18-24 (85 were women, 51 were men). Fieldwork was undertaken between 1st - 2nd August 2019. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).