From Pre-Nups to Pet-Nups: Marriage Generation Z style

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pet-nupGeneration Z couples are crossing their Ts and dotting their Is before getting hitched, as research shows the rise of the ‘practical prenup’.

A leading divorce lawyer has said that the young generation of future newlyweds are increasingly concerned with making sure assets like pets and alcohol collections are considered before saying ‘I do’.

A recent study found that 42 per cent of women intend to sign a prenup with their partner before they walk down the aisle, compared to 36 per cent of men who feel the same.

The research revealed the rise in what they are calling ‘practical prenups’: an update to the usual written contract a couple enter into before marriage that predetermines what will happen to assets in the event of a divorce.

It was highlighted that 57 per cent of females think businesses should be included in a prenup, compared to 53 per cent of men.

Interestingly, 42 per cent of females also said a future prenup that they would draft should contain pets, compared to 35 per cent of men.

The term ‘pet nup’ actually began to circulate last year when lawyers saw an increase in couples determining what would happen to their beloved animals.

Earlier this year, Direct Line Pet Insurance revealed that nearly 30,000 divorce cases that reach a courtroom involve conflict over a pet.

The law firm believed that young women’s ‘top priorities’ proved to be ‘very sensible’ – with 75 per cent favoring a home and second home when considering what should be included in a prenup (compared to 71 per cent of men) and 69 per cent choosing savings and investments (in comparison to 63 per cent of men.)

Thinking somewhat outside the box, men did seem to consider other material items, with 50 per cent electing for cars and motorcycles, although so too did 43 per cent of women.

While many prenups the world over contain clauses about what happens if one party starts excessively drinking alcohol, it’s rather unusual for a prenup to actually outline who has a right to take ownership of a booze collection.

Some 31 per cent of men surveyed said that wine, whisky and gin collections should be included (versus only 13 per cent of women).

Amanda Rimmer, a Partner in the Family Law division at Stephensons Solicitors LLP, said that younger individuals are likely influenced by celebrity culture.

Details of prenups for modern-day couples like Beyonce and Jay Z, as well as Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, have been widely circulated online.

Kanye West’s track Gold Digger immortalized the lyric, ‘Holla, We want prenup! We want prenup!’ – though ironically, when he wed Kim Kardashian in 2014, their agreement was that he would pay her $1 million a year for 10 years if the marriage didn’t work out. Back then Kim was worth $40 million, but today that net worth stands at a huge $370 million.

According to Amanda, it’s that openness had has led to a generation that are much more accepting of talking about contracts, net worth and assets with their significant other.

‘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.

‘If a relationship does end, and 42 per cent 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,’ Amanda added.

Without a prenup, the lawyer noted that individuals run the risk of having to divide ‘everything’ equally down the middle.

‘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 finalizing your agreement well in advance of your ceremony,’ she said.

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Categories: Binding Financial Agreement, Binding Financial Agreement, Pet Custody, Pre-Nuptial Agreement
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