UK pre-nuptial agreements are gaining traction, becoming a topic of conversation between couples more than ever before, with 1 in 5 marriages now starting with a prenup. There has been a notable shift in attitude towards prenups, especially amongst millennials, defined as those born between 1981 and 1996. The preconceived notion that nuptial agreements are unromantic is becoming a thing of the past. A survey conducted in 2021 by Savanta ComRes for Marriage Foundation asked 2000 married UK adults whether they had signed a prenuptial agreement, also known more commonly as a ‘prenup’ or knew of someone who had. They found prenups accounted for 20% of first weddings since the 2000s. A rise of 8% since the 1990s. Until recently, prenups were considered a taboo subject and it was certainly less likely to come up in conversation. In previous generations, people were expected to get married at the beginning of adulthood and build an asset with their partner for their whole lives. The idea of a prenup was considered a signal of mistrust, and potentially a way of increasing the likelihood of dispute early on in a relationship. The latest research, however, suggests this is not the case. Research from the Marriage Foundation found no correlation between prenups and an increased rate of divorce in the 2000 adults they surveyed. What is driving the changing attitude towards nuptial agreements? The ‘baby boomer’ influence. Millennials have felt the effects of divorce from their ‘baby boomer’ parents, who have widely been reported to have a significantly higher rate of divorce than any other generation. Having seen how divorce has impacted their parents finances, many are now choosing to enter marriage with a clear plan. Millennials want to avoid costly, acrimonious divorces and focus on building an open and trusting relationship and future together. Starting your relationship with a strong foundation where emotionally mature conversations can take place around these difficult topics can help build a long lasting, loving relationship. Getting married later in life. For previous generations, it became the norm to get married in early adulthood, with couples building their lives together at the start of their twenties. Since the 1970’s, the average age at which people in the UK get married has been steadily increasing. The UK 2021 census reported the average median age at marriage for opposite-sex couples in 2019 was 34.3 years for men and 32.3 years for women; for same-sex couples this was higher at 38.1 years for men and 33.8 years for women. The result of this generational shift means couples are more likely to accumulate financial assets prior to a marriage taking place, as opposed to the beginning of adulthood, where a couple would build an asset base together. With this in mind, a 50/50 split of assets may not always be the fairest option. A prenup encourages open and collaborative conversations about each partner’s assets and life goals and it can help to safeguard property, pensions and savings accrued prior to marriage and give couples peace of mind and clarity when thinking about their future together. The career mindset. Marriage was once seen as an indicator of success however, as time has gone on, greater levels of importance have been placed on furthering education and building a career. Last year millennials set up 49% of all new UK businesses. With more opportunities available and equalisation in the workforce, the prioritisation of having a career-orientated mindset over settling down early, not only means that assets are accumulated individually prior to marriage but also that many are now saddled with student loans and debts. Without a prenup in place,individual debts could be divided between a couple and one could be left with 50% of the other persons debt. Cheaper and more easily accessible. Prenups have traditionally been viewed as a product only for the rich and famous, with one wealthier party, most commonly the male, looking to protect themselves. Nuptial agreements do not need to be expensive, hard to access, or acrimonious and defensive. At Wenup, our goal is to make couples agreements amicable, easy, and affordable. We’ve designed an easy-to-use online platform and a simple process that enables couples to take a more collaborative approach to finances and life planning. We believe starting conversations early around this topic helps to build a long lasting, loving relationship and improves the financial wellbeing of the couple.