If Boomers, Gen-Xers and Millennials can agree on anything, it might be that Millennials are different.
One source of confusion about these 20- and 30-somethings is they often face decisions and challenges that earlier generations usually dealt with later in life. Millennials also marry later, so they may face these challenges with live-in romantic partners instead of spouses.
It is no mystery why cohabitation agreements are more common and needed today than ever before.
Building an adult life while unmarried
Imagine if most people you know got married at 21 and 23, as Boomers did in 1968, instead of waiting until 28 and 30 as Millennials do today. (The pairs of numbers are for women and men, respectively).
Millennials more often spend their early adult years unmarried. Statistically speaking, Millennials have a better understanding of what it means to be an unmarried person taking on small business loans, car loans, and mortgages. Many face medical bills and maybe obligations toward children.
Compared to the Gen-Xers (roughly 40- and 50-somethings now), Millennials take on 50% more student debt. Plus, its effects are more universal among Millennials, since twice as many have those student debts than Gen-Xers did.
Millennials need their questions answered
These are already plenty of statistics, but there is indeed a lot of cohabitation going on among Millennials. Half have ever been married, while 60% have cohabitated, according to a recent Pew Research Center. The share of Americans living together has doubled in the past 25 years.
Unmarried, no-nonsense adults working hard to build a future often know the value of contracts between people paying into the same project, even if they are romantic partners maintaining a household.
If one partner suddenly dies, what money and stuff would go to the partner and what to the family? How would the survivors pay off the deceased’s debts?
If the partners break up, would both be financially able to move on with their lives? Would anyone get “palimony”?
And what about children when the couple is together? How would that work, exactly? If the couple splits up, what would they do about custody and child support?
As you might imagine, disputes over these potentially sticky situations could extremely expensive to litigate one they break out. Many find it much more economical and emotionally healthy to work it out with professionals beforehand.