Millennial couples in Kentucky may be more likely to keep their bank accounts separate compared to baby boomers and Gen X according to a survey by Bank of America. A survey of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that prenuptial agreements are also on the rise, with millennials in particular requesting them.
However, experts say that even in an equitable distribution state, separate finances might not guarantee that a divorce court will agree that these are separate assets. While this is usually the case in equitable distribution states, an attorney could argue that they are marital assets and should be divided fairly. A prenup can offer more protection in case of divorce. An added advantage of a prenuptial agreement is that creating one means couples will talk about their financial situation and their attitudes toward money. Couples may also have the option to nullify or change prenups later.
Couples who do not want a prenup still have some options to protect themselves financially. With separate accounts, both people have easy access to money they may need to fund a divorce. Carefully documenting the assets owned by each person going into the marriage may help keep that property separate. People should be careful that they do not mingle any inheritance assets with the marital finances if they want those assets to be considered separate property.
Litigation is not an inevitable element of divorce. A couple may decide to negotiate an agreement for property division, and each person may keep the assets they earned during the marriage. However, if one person is at a substantial financial disadvantage in the marriage and there is a great deal of conflict in the divorce, litigation could help ensure that person leaves the marriage with some financial resources. A higher-earning spouse could also be required to pay support.