Second and any subsequent marriages can sometimes bring special issues that aren’t relevant to first marriages. Merging two independent families with children or with family assets, it can make a prenup non-negotiable. Children from a previous marriage, regardless of age, demand legal protections if any assets are planned to be passed to them upon the death of their biological parent. It should be outlined where the money should end up going, or it will inevitably end up with unintended family members. If both spouses have kids, and the parents haven’t outlined how their assets should be distributed in the prenup, whichever parent dies first will have their assets distributed to their surviving spouse. If their surviving spouse dies, their assets will transfer to their children instead of to the children. These types of complicated financial plans require clearly defined directions. Other issues, like child and spousal support and distribution of insurance proceeds, should be outlined in a prenuptial agreement to eliminate confusion.
1. Children From Outside the Marriage: Custody and support issues cannot be included in prenuptial arrangements for a current marriage or pending marriage, but considerations for children from previous relationships can and should be included in prenuptial agreements. If parents would like to ensure their children receive specific assets or property, it needs to be included in a legal documents like your prenuptial agreement and will.
2. It’s a Third or Fourth Marriage: Being in one or two unsuccessful marriages can carry significant financial responsibilities and liabilities. Experiencing a first or second marriage can leave parties with life experiences they want to avoid in future relationships. Some parties choose to include many of these issues in their prenuptial agreement. A couple of divorces can leave all parties apprehensive about the success of any new marriage. Multiple divorces can be an indicator of future difficulties, so
3. Couples With Considerable Assets Marry Later in Life: It’s becoming more and more common to find couples with considerable assets. More couples are getting married after completing school or reaching higher levels in their careers. These couples are choosing to wait until they’re established before getting married or starting a family. It’s becoming increasingly common to find newly married couples in their 40s getting married for the first time. It’s also common for each spouse to have a healthy retirement account and real estate holdings.
4. There’s a Family Business: If one party owns or is a partial owner in a family business, it’s important to protect their interest in the business and the interest of any other family members who share ownership of the business. If the spouse who owns the business dies or divorces, the business's ownership and any interest in the enterprise should be clarified in the prenuptial agreement.
5. Credit Protections: A prenuptial agreement can be vital in the protection of an innocent spouse in the event creditors begin to look to a debtor’s spouse to collect what is owed to them. A prenuptial agreement can also be a great place to include ownership of large unsecured debts, like student loans and credit cards. If one party has a heavier debt load than their fiancé, it could cause tension in the relationship. One party could be worried about their indebted partner leaving them on the hook to pay those debts in the event of a divorce. It’s financially wise to clarify that these obligations do not become shared liabilities after marriage. A prenuptial agreement can be used to protect the spouse who didn’t receive any benefit from the debt.
Call The Law Offices of Mark R. Hinshaw today at (515) 200-7571 to schedule a consultation to discuss these issues and other prenuptial agreement topics.