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Prenuptial Agreements the Second Time Around

Prenuptial Agreement It is true that 40% of marriages involve persons who have been married before. This is one reason that thinking about signing a prenuptial agreement prior to saying I do is becoming more commonplace. Individuals in middle and later life are likely to have more assets than younger couples, financial obligations in the form of alimony or child support payments, hard-earned estates they wish to leave to their children, as well as emotional baggage from their previous relationships. Some second-time-around couples, therefore might want to take a look at their finances in order to make a plan on how to make the second marriage work financially.
To do this, you might consider the following issues:

  • Whether to share financial responsibility for children from previous relationships, whether to share debts as well as assets, and how to divide property obtained before and after the current marriage.
  • Whether to share any investments and other property owned before the marriage.
  • How each partner shall contribute to the household and how various bills will be paid.
  • Whether to establish only joint accounts or to maintain separate accounts in order to allow for autonomy as well as obligations from previous relationships (i.e., alimony and child support payments).

prenuptial agreements are now widely accepted in the US due to increased life expectancy, a 50% divorce rate, and increasing serial marriages. Despite this acceptance, laws pertaining to these contracts vary widely from state to state. As a result, individuals may wish to consult a local attorney, preferably one who specializes in family law, in order to negotiate a prenuptial contract. Because the cost of a prenuptial agreement can vary widely, it is suggested each couple discuss and outline what they want to see in their agreement prior to going to a lawyer. If you cannot afford to pay for this type of legal agreement, at least decide together how you will handle financial responsibilities and be honest with each other about your financial past and spending patterns.
It is important for couples, at any age, to approach the idea of a prenuptial agreement with an open mind. Signing this contract does not mean you are planning to get a divorce or that you do not trust one another. Instead, it is more a matter of being serious about their commitment and stating their concern for the future security of loved ones. They are expressing their respect for their future spouse and his/her hard-earned assets and accomplishments.

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