How your second marriage can benefit from a prenuptial agreement

The financial stakes in a second or subsequent marriage are often high because you have accumulated significant assets and possibly have children from a previous relationship. While getting remarried offers a fresh start in many ways, it may also have additional challenges.

NBC News reports that a prenuptial agreement signed and entered into before a couple marries addresses issues surrounding assets and property rights. Signing and drafting the document at least three months before the wedding can help avoid the appearance of duress and other legitimacy questions later.

Financial partnership

A second or subsequent marriage has legal implications and a financial impact. If you have a business and it appreciates during the new union, defining how to address it in a divorce is critical. You or your fiancé may have children from a previous relationship or preexisting obligations to ex-spouses.

Protecting your children and ensuring compliance with existing divorce agreements or judgments is essential in devising any such prenuptial agreements. If you and your intended spouse decide to retire to a different jurisdiction, during your marriage, providing for enforceability under the laws of the jurisdiction where you currently reside, may help in its enforcement. A prenuptial agreement can define these and other financial issues, creating a plan before you wed.

Financial transparency

Understanding your partner’s financial situation, making them aware of yours and planning for the future can help establish trust. Concerns that you may address in a prenup can include the following:

  • Leaving assets to children if the new marriage is intact at the time of death
  • Supporting the new spousal unity through old age
  • Determining the distribution of assets if the marriage fails
  • Balancing the needs of your new spouse with assisting your children
  • Ensuring enforceability by providing that the state in which the prenuptial agreement is executed is the state whose laws determine its enforceability.
  • Ensuring a smooth divorce process, if necessary

You may benefit from a consolidated net worth statement, agreement of valuation method for your business  if it is to be included as an asset in the marriage, and other financial planning, depending on the type and volume of wealth accumulation of one or both parties. Defining separate and marital property before entering the marriage can help minimize divorce costs by avoiding litigation and help spouses feel protected by streamlining property division and establishing conflict resolution methods.

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