Whether for marriage or remarriage, prepare with a prenup
This article looks at what a prenuptial agreement can and cannot do and why
it is especially important during a remarriage.
Everybody who gets married – whether it’s their first, second or even third
marriage – intends for it to last forever. With divorce rates so high,
however, most people nowadays know that “til death do us part” may be more of
an aspiration rather than a guarantee. As such, being prepared for all
eventualities, including divorce, isn’t just a reflection of one’s faith in a
marriage, it is simply good practical sense. While
prenuptial agreements were
once thought of as a sign of a lack of commitment, today, according to US News
& World Report, they are commonly being treated as an important step that
any prudent couple should take prior to their wedding day.
What’s a prenup good for?
It is perhaps helpful to think of a prenuptial agreement as being less about a
marriage and being more of an estate planning tool. A prenuptial agreement can
cover a vast amount of territory, including how assets are to be divided if a
marriage ends and how child-rearing duties are to be taken on by each parent.
If a divorce does happen, then a prenuptial agreement can make the process
faster and less painful for both parties.
There are limits to what a prenuptial agreement can do, however. For one, the
terms of a prenuptial agreement must comply with state law. That also means
that, generally speaking, a prenuptial agreement cannot deal with child
support. Additionally, both parties to a prenuptial agreement must have signed
such an agreement willingly and with full knowledge of what they were signing.
In other words, if a spouse was pressured into signing the agreement or if it
later turns out that some assets had not been fully disclosed then the
agreement as a whole may be considered invalid and unenforceable.
Prenups for remarriage
As CNBC points out, a prenuptial agreement is particularly useful for people
who are remarrying. Fortunately, people who have already been through a
divorce tend to be more pragmatic about the future compared to those on their
first marriages and are therefore often more open to a prenuptial agreement.
A prenuptial agreement for those who are remarrying is especially important if
they have children from a previous marriage. A prenuptial agreement can
protect the property rights and financial interests of those children in case
the new marriage ends in divorce or death. By having such an agreement in
place, those first children also benefit from being given tangible proof that
their interests are still paramount in their parent’s mind.
When it comes to a prenuptial agreement, there is no such thing as too much
preparation. To make sure an agreement will ultimately hold up in court it is
extremely important to talk to an experienced family law attorney beforehand.
A qualified attorney will be able to talk couples through the process of
drafting a prenuptial agreement so that they can have the peace of mind they
need when entering into their new marriage.