Are you getting remarried? During this exciting time, it's important not to overlook the practical necessities of starting a new chapter in your life. Whatever your future plans hold, both future spouses do well to acknowledge that they are different persons with a different history this time around. And one of the best ways to find success in your new marriage is to create a solid prenuptial agreement that will minimize conflict and worry.
How can you do this? Here are five key tips for a great prenup as your second marriage approaches.
1. Be Open. The more you get financial matters out in the open during the prenuptial writing process, the better it will work. Gather information about all your assets and all your liabilities or debts — even if this is not easy for you to discuss. Work with a family law attorney to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that all matters are represented during discussions.
2. Arrange for Family Members. When a parent or adult child gets remarried, one of the biggest concerns for some is how it may affect the existing family. And these concerns can be very valid. A surviving spouse, for instance, may take precedence in estate matters over children from a prior marriage. And most children feel that they should share things fairly with future children. Address these and other family concerns to create more harmony in a blended family.
3. Specify Family Assets. Each adult coming into a later-life marriage has their own assets. How important is it to you and your blood relations that these assets stay in your birth family? If this is a concern, specify who will receive certain pre-existing assets like family heirlooms, real property, or business ownership. Again, this will help avoid bad feelings between your new spouse and your blood relatives.
4. Be Fair. The point of a prenuptial agreement is to make the marriage easier and more successful by promoting honesty and avoiding conflict. So both parties should aim to draw up a fair agreement that contains 'wins' and compromises for both parties. Not only will this help your relationship, but it will also make the agreement easier to enforce in court.
5. Follow the Rules. Make your prenuptial agreement easier to follow and enforce after it's complete. How? Continue to follow the rules you set up within it. If the prenup stipulates, for instance, that a certain bank account will be held for your child from a prior relationship, don't use that account to buy or sell anything for joint ownership. The more you mingle assets, the harder it will be to separate them later.
Done well, a prenuptial agreement can be a positive and beneficial thing for the whole family. Start right by talking with an experienced family attorney from a firm like the Law Office of Greg Quimby, P.C.