Attorney Jonathan E. Fields was quoted in today’s Wall Street Journal
Millennials Embrace Prenups—but Through a Very Different Lens Than in the Past
Millennials are using prenups to address new economic and social issues—including rising student debt, social-media use and embryo ownership
By Cheryl Winokur Munk
Jan. 21, 2021 1:00 pm ET
Millennials are often known to buck convention. That seems to be true even when it comes to prenuptial agreements.
In the past, prenups were most common among young adults from wealthy families or couples entering second or third marriages. Today, younger adults of all income levels are drafting them, not only to protect assets accumulated before and during marriage but to address societal realities that weren’t necessarily present or common years ago, such as a desire to keep finances separate, student debt, social-media use, embryo ownership and even pet care.
Experts point to the fact that many millennials are children of divorced parents and have had an intimate look at what can happen financially when a marriage dissolves. At the same time, the stigma or taboo that used to be associated with discussing money before marriage is slowly disappearing.
Jonathan Fields, a family-law attorney and divorce mediator with Fields and Dennis LLP in Wellesley, Mass., says he also is getting requests from younger clients to address social media in prenups to ensure that one spouse can’t write nasty things about the other in the event they break up. He says he tries to discourage such clauses because he’s concerned it could run into First Amendment issues, but if clients insist, he includes it using broad language related to not discussing each other negatively, or to their children, for example.
A typical clause, he says, would prohibit the dissemination—without prior written and/or electronic consent—of information that could disparage or harm the other or the other’s public image. This could cover all media, including photographs, video, blogging, texting, tweeting, tagging, and posting on any social-media site, service or platform, he says.