Free Love 'Boomers' Urging Kids to Get Prenups

Wary baby boomers encourage adult children to get prenuptial agreements.

ByABC News
July 15, 2010, 1:03 PM

July 19, 2010 — -- Meredith was just a couple of months into her engagement when her parents broached an uncomfortable subject: getting a prenuptial agreement.

They worried, the Connecticut woman said, about the investments they'd made for her since childhood as well as the more than $75,000 she had inherited from her grandmother.

Meredith, who asked that her real name be withheld because she was discussing sensitive financial issues, said she didn't mind the idea but was nervous about how her fiance would react. Her father, meanwhile, "was really adamant about seeing my grandmother's money go where she intended it to go."

Meredith's parents, both born in the 1950s, are baby boomers. The 78-million-strong postwar generation once preached "free love" but now, family lawyers say, they're often preaching something else, especially to their children: safeguarding their finances before they tie the knot.

Prenup-touting boomers are motivated at least in part by their own experiences and those of friends and family, said Barry Finkel, a family law attorney specializing in prenuptial agreements in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"They've been through divorces, they've seen their parents and friends go through divorces, and they've seen what kinds of financial devastation can occur," he said. "When they realize their children are going to be inheriting or gifted large amounts of money, they don't want their children [potentially] having to give up some of these assets."

Some also are hoping their children can use prenups to protect their future earnings. Susan Jordan, 48, of Coco Beach, Florida, already is encouraging her 19-year-old stepson to consider a prenuptial agreement even though he's still in the dating phase of his relationship.