After a marriage ends, people often make a promise to themselves that if they get remarried, they won’t make the same mistakes that contributed to the end of their first marriage. They’ll be more thoughtful, spontaneous or selfish; they’ll look for someone more caring, mature and responsible.
Making these promises can be a good way to assess your priorities and protect yourself, but the fact is that there are no guarantees when it comes to love and marriage. Because of this, it can be wise to enter second marriages with your eyes open and a plan B in place. For instance, it can be critical to consider creating a prenuptial agreement.
Regardless of whether you had a prenup before your first marriage, it can prove to be an especially critical document to complete before a second (or third or fourth) marriage. This is because you can have far more financial complexities to worry about when you remarry.
To begin with, you are going to be older than you were before your first marriage, and with that can come concerns about long-term care. Paying for healthcare may prove to be a problem much sooner than you expect, and without legal protection, you could wind up legally obligated to drain your own assets and finances to care for a new spouse.
Additionally, you may already have plans in place for taking care of your own kids and grandkids. You will want to discuss these plans with your soon-to-be spouse so that you can be sure you are able to keep these finances and plans intact throughout and after marriage. Too often couples do not discuss their relative financial position and responsibilities they each have going into the marriage. Discussing and agreeing on these issues prior to marriage goes a long way to making sure that there will be a successful marriage.
Finally, you will likely have assets you accumulated from your first marriage as well as assets acquired in the time you were divorced. Protecting these and keeping them separate can be crucial in the event that you get divorced again.
If you are getting remarried, it can be critical to take advantage of planning tools you may have neglected the first time around to avoid mistakes that may have caused problems in your first marriage. Talking with your attorney about a prenuptial agreement can be a good place to start. Many couples meet with an attorney mediator to help them reach agreement. Couples are even using the collaborative practice process with their attorneys and mental health professionals to sooth and resolving all issues in a more understanding and respectful manner.
Source: Pocono Record, “Second time around,” Amy Leap, Aug. 3, 2016