The New York Times ran this article http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/23/upshot/rise-in-marriages-of-equals-and-in-division-by-class.html?_r=0 about the ways in which marriage is becoming both more old fashioned and simultaneously more modern. Though people are marrying later in life, for love, the marriage of equals across levels of income and educate creates a class rigidity.
When working with couples negotiating a prenuptial agreement, we see young couples starting out in promising careers concerned about absorbing responsibilities for the other’s student loans and protecting their own professional efforts. We have helped couples have complex conversations around expectations of what each will bring to the marriage: how will they meet their financial obligations and how will they share parenting responsibilities.
At times, the prenup revolves around protecting a discreet asset, such as an inherited piece of a family business or of real property. But the foundation of class increasingly is the status of your education and career and less about inherited wealth — being born of the manor.
When working with couples negotiating a divorce settlement, vestiges of traditional marriages arise even where the marriage itself has been anything but. That is, a higher earning wife is often reticent to be the payor of alimony; and a lower earning husband often resists receiving alimony—preferring independence and a tight budget to receiving a check from an ex-wife.