Getting a second chance at true love is exhilarating. However, second marriages also bring a variety of complex financial situations and different family dynamics. When both parties have established themselves in their careers and acquired assets from their previous marriages, it can be difficult to figure out how to protect those assets should something happen. If one or both spouses have children from their previous marriages, it’s even more important to protect separate assets for the benefit of the children.
Wondering if you need a prenuptial agreement? Learn more about how prenuptial agreements can protect your children when you remarry. When you’re ready to discuss your prenup, call Hardy Pence at 304-345-7250.
Protecting Your Children’s Assets and Inheritances
One of the main reasons you may seek a prenuptial agreement before you remarry is to protect your children’s assets and inheritances. You may think you’re in the clear if you own certain assets before marriage, but it’s not always that easy.
Separate assets may become marital assets if commingled, making them subject to division. This means that the assets you intended for your children could end up split in a future divorce. Your prenuptial agreement will specify which assets should be considered separate in a divorce, safeguarding everything you’ve built for your children.
Your prenuptial agreement can also specify how your assets should be handled if you pass during the course of your marriage. This is perhaps one of the most important aspects of a prenup in a second marriage. Without a clear division of assets, intestacy rules may leave your new spouse with the lion’s share of your assets, forcing your children to go without.
A clear and legally enforceable prenuptial agreement can also protect your children from the pain of a drawn-out inheritance dispute if you pass away. Without legal protection, it’s possible for your spouse to lay claim to assets you’d intended for your children. Fighting this could cost your children thousands in legal fees.
Clarifying Financial Responsibilities
A strong prenuptial agreement can open a discussion about financial responsibilities and your obligations to each other’s children. While the agreements you come to may not be legally enforceable, these discussions have saved many people from unintentionally entering a second marriage that would not have served them.
For example, imagine finding out that your spouse-to-be expects you to financially support your children and their children from a previous marriage—even though you earn the same amount of money. Or, think about how stressful it would be to find out that your new spouse wants you to step fully into a parental role, even though it would mean stepping on the toes of the child’s other involved parent.
On the legal side, these conversations can lead to agreements that you can include in your prenup. You may specify how property acquired during the marriage is to be split should you divorce or come to an agreement regarding alimony, which is especially important if there’s a significant earning disparity.
Creating a Safe and Secure Environment for Children
While this isn’t necessarily a legal benefit of a prenuptial agreement, creating a prenup can help you build an environment where your children feel safe and secure. The discussions that lead to a prenuptial agreement also give you plenty of opportunities to discuss the role that both parents will have in the children’s lives, the division of household labor, discipline, and parenting strategies, and communication techniques. Starting a marriage on the right foot like this is beneficial for both the couple and their children, giving everyone the space they need to voice their concerns and advocate for themselves.
Additionally, if your children are older, they may be worried about the financial ramifications of your remarriage. Knowing their inheritances and assets are safe can help them accept your new spouse more readily.
Ready to Draft Your Prenup? Call Hardy Pence
When you’re ready to start working on your prenuptial agreement, the team at Hardy Pence is here to help. We will explain your options, how different choices may play out, and our recommendations. Get started now by reaching out online or calling us at 304-345-7250 to set up a consultation with our team of Charleston family law attorneys.