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About to Remarry? Here’s How a Prenuptial Agreement Can Protect You

Published September 2, 2020
Today, more couples are deciding to create prenuptial agreements designed to strengthen their marriages while preparing for the possibility of going their separate ways one day. It’s especially useful for second or third marriages to understands the protections that prenuptial agreements offer.

It used to be that prenuptial agreements were fairly uncommon, especially for those who married young. However, with more millennials deciding to establish prenuptial agreements before entering into marriage, the benefits and protections that prenuptial agreements offer are becoming wider known. From streamlining the divorce process to protecting you from financial and emotional stress, prenuptial agreements provide a road map of your preferences and goals, should you decide to end your marriage one day. In the past, prenuptial agreements may have been stigmatized as a way of “dooming” your marriage because you dared to plan for a possible divorce, more couples are recognizing that prenuptial agreement is a smart way to have challenging and necessary conversations with your future spouse while protecting you both, no matter what the future may bring. For those individuals who are embarking on a second or third marriage, a prenuptial agreement becomes even more important, as you and your new spouse are more likely to have acquired more significant assets. Let’s examine why prenuptial agreements are virtually essential for second marriages.

Creating a Balance of Power in the Marriage

By the time people are entering into a second or third marriage, they are likely a bit older. Since they have lived longer, they may have more substantial financial assets, like homes, retirement funds, trusts, and other valuable property. Perhaps both spouses are retired, but one person has a much more robust retirement plan that can be shared with the new spouse during the marriage. What happens if they decide to go their separate ways? A prenuptial agreement can specify that the lower-earning spouse can receive a set amount from the wealthier spouse in the event of a divorce. In most cases, taking the time to document this arrangement early on in the marriage can make both spouses, especially the more financially-dependent spouse, feel less anxious, resentful, and insecure. Ultimately, those who have created a clear prenuptial agreement that provides for an equitable allocation of marital assets, should a divorce occur, tend to feel more secure and satisfied in their marriages.

Expressing Estate Planning Goals in a Prenuptial Agreement

For individuals entering into a second marriage in their golden years, estate planning can be a major concern as well. If the spouses have children from previous marriages, it can seem tricky to know how property will be divided among the beneficiaries, including children, former spouses, the current spouse, and/or other family members, should one spouse pass away. A prenuptial agreement can state and require that the couple establish an estate plan as soon as their marriage begins that will allow for the equitable division of assets between the surviving spouse and the deceased spouse’s children. Couples can also use a prenuptial agreement to express their desires for their preferred method of pursuing a divorce, should their marriage end up failing. For example, many people want to avoid stressful and costly litigation, so they could use a prenuptial agreement to state their intentions to use mediation or the collaborative divorce process.

Keeping Your Future Bright

Ultimately, a prenuptial agreement can be used to accomplish any number of goals. To learn more about the benefits of a prenuptial agreement, whether this is your first, second, or fifth marriage, reach out to the knowledgeable legal team at Lee Tyler Family Law, P.C. today. We are committed to helping individuals, couples, and families in the Portland-Metro and Vancouver areas understand their options for beginning, strengthening, or dissolving their marriages or partnerships. Call (503) 233-8868 today to get started.

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