May 14, 2012
Ilan Hirschfeld, Partner-in-Charge of the New Jersey Offices, Featured in the Huffington Post Wedding Blog Article "May Prenups for June Brides"
By Ilan Hirschfeld
The weather is getting warmer, flowers are blooming, the grass is growing and marriage season is once again upon us. While spring remains the prime time for weddings, many other traditional aspects of marriage have changed over time, including the age at which people get married. Indeed, today, the average age of women entering a first marriage is 26.1 years old, compared to 20.3 years old in 1960. For men, the average age for a first marriage is 28.1 compared to 22.8 about 50 years ago. As a result, couples today are more mature, have more established careers and more assets than in years past. This is doubly true considering how many people enter into second (or third) marriages with decades of assets and minor children for whom they provide.
Ensuring those assets are protected through a prenuptial contract should be one of the first things couples do before signing a marriage contract. Discussing a prenuptial agreement isn't the most comfortable or romantic thing to do, however, it will prove much less awkward and stressful to do it at the onset of the marriage than when things fall apart.
The sad truth is barely 35 percent of marriages survive their 25th anniversaries and only 21 percent of couples get to celebrate their 35th anniversary together. If you can come together and discuss your goals and viewpoints regarding finances before you actually get married -- now, out of love, consideration and affection, as opposed to later when things may eventually get out of hand -- you effectively minimize one of the most common reasons for divorce and one of the most difficult aspects of settling one.