More Texas millennials, 18- to 35-year-olds, are entering a prenuptial agreement (prenup) before their marriage and for new reasons. One survey of attorneys reported that 51 percent of lawyers reported an increase in the number of millennials seeking these agreements. Another 65 percent claim that the increase took place over the last three years.

Millennials may need a prenup more than any other age group. They are more likely to enter marriages with money from their families and from new business ventures or start-ups.

A prenup will help assure that a spouse’s property is kept separate from marital assets, if there is a divorce. For a start-up, there is a risk that its worth will be valued at the time of marriage when it was relatively low and any growth during the marriage will be considered as marital property.

One particularly attractive feature for millennials is protection of intellectual property, such as trademarks, patents and related residuals. During divorce, it is difficult and potentially expensive and contentious to place a value on intellectual property. The couple can agree in a prenup to resolve these issues by, for example, assigning any patent or trademark obtained during or before marriage to a spouse.

A prenup can also protect consumer goodwill in a spouse’s business or profession. Placing a value on this reputation or goodwill can be difficult and expensive, and a prenup can help avoid disputes and disrupt customer patronage.

Prenuptial agreements can also compel marriage counseling before they can file for divorce. Timely and mandatory counseling can help resolve marital disputes before they escalate.

Other traditional benefits also apply to millennials. Placing a value on assets and assigning it to a spouse can save litigation costs during divorce proceedings. A prenup compels couples to place a value on property compel disclosure of assets.

Couples entering a marriage in Texas should seek individual legal advice to help protect their rights and assets. Legal representation can help avoid future disputes.