Getting married for the second or third time, or later in life, brings unique considerations to the marriage, particularly when it comes to financial matters. Conversations about prenuptial agreements, commonly known as prenups, play a vital role in addressing those concerns and protecting the interests of both partners. Here are some key points to cover in conversations about a prenuptial agreement.
Preserving Assets and Income
When entering into a subsequent marriage, unlike in a first marriage, where the focus may be more on building shared assets, individuals in second or later marriages may be more concerned about protecting their existing wealth from potential division in the event of a divorce, or preserving wealth for their children from a previous marriage or relationship. Couples should openly discuss and address these concerns when negotiating a prenup agreement.
Complexities of Support
In second marriages, conversations around spousal support can be more intricate, especially when one partner was previously married while the other may be marrying for the first time. The recipient of spousal support from a prior marriage may need to consider that the support will terminate when they remarry. These conversations require sensitivity and understanding, as they may potentially involve giving up something valuable. The prenup should explicitly outline the expectations and responsibilities related to support.
Considerations for Children and Estates
Partners in second or later marriages often have children from prior relationships. It is essential to consider what will happen to assets in the event of death. Many individuals want to ensure that their children inherit certain assets, such as a home. The prenup conversation should address questions about how long a surviving spouse can continue to live in the home and the financial implications associated with it. These discussions allow for clarity in expectations and avoid potential conflicts regarding estate planning and the distribution of assets.
Periodic Review and Update
Prenuptial agreements should not be considered a one-time document that can be forgotten in a drawer. You should periodically review and potentially update the prenup to ensure it still aligns with your goals as a couple and changing financial circumstances. It is also essential to ensure that you comply with the agreement’s terms, as failure to do so may lead a court to disregard its validity. Similarly, estate plans should be regularly reviewed to reflect current circumstances and ensure the intentions of you and your spouse.
Conversations about prenuptial agreements in second or later marriages safeguard individual assets, address support concerns, and protect the interests of children from previous relationships. These discussions provide an opportunity to openly communicate about your financial expectations, secure existing wealth, and establish clear guidelines for estate planning. By periodically reviewing and updating the prenup and estate plans, you can ensure that the agreements continue to reflect your evolving circumstances and goals. Ultimately, engaging in a thoughtful and transparent financial conversations about the prenup sets the foundation for a secure and well-prepared marriage.
Lisa R. Murray is an experienced Collaborative Divorce and Mediation Attorney. She can help you to determine the goals for your divorce and work to a settlement that allows you to achieve those goals.
Your may call her at 650-642-3897.