Why more women are requesting prenups than ever before

Historically, it’s usually the groom-to-be who’s been motivated to get a prenup. However, the tides have started to turn—or at least even out.

Historically, when it comes to marriage, it’s usually the groom-to-be who’s been motivated to get a prenup—after all, men have historically entered into marriages with more assets to protect.

In the last few years, however, the tides have started to turn—or at least even out. Experts say that with their growing earning power and assets, more women than ever are asking for premarital contracts from their partners. In fact, about 52% of divorce attorneys have reported an increase in women seeking prenups. 

This trend doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon. Here’s why.

There are increasingly more working women

As time goes on, more and more women take part in the workforce. About three-quarters of women aged 25–54 hold down a job today, compared with slightly more than two-thirds a decade ago. Women are also working longer hours: Today, 84 percent of employed women work full time.

So it makes sense: The more working women there are, the greater the number of women with positions, businesses, assets and investments that are more lucrative than their spouses’—and the greater number of women who are motivated to protect what they’ve worked hard to earn.

Women are earning more than their male partners

While women are absolutely still fighting to end the wage gap, research shows that in many heterosexual, Millennial couples, the woman is the breadwinner.

In fact, in more than 25% of marriages, women earn more than their male partners. That number continues to increase, and as it does, more women are insisting on drafting prenups before walking down the aisle. 

Attorneys are seeing a big shift already: 45% have seen an increase in the number of women responsible for alimony and child support payments. That’s a big number, and it means the perception about alimony is evolving: It’s no longer considered something that a man typically pays to a woman. High-earning women are taking notice—and those who are financially savvy want to do anything they can to avoid paying their ex-husband alimony on top of paying off marital debt and splitting their own savings.

Women have less debt than men

Debt can be a huge motivator for wanting a prenup, especially if you don’t have any, and your future spouse does. Why? Because a prenup can establish that you wouldn’t be responsible for any of your spouse’s debt in the case of a divorce. Like we said: huge motivator. 

Although women tend to have 2.7% more student loan debt than men, in every other category—credit card, mortgage, personal and auto loan debt—women have less, by a lot. For example, men have 20% more personal loan debt than women do.

Getting a prenup can help many women feel more secure about marrying someone who has debt. After all, nobody—especially financially savvy women—wants to get left holding the bag.