Protecting assets when saying 'I do' again

Money can present problems with any marriage in California. But financial issues tend to be more front-and-center when one or both spouses is marrying again, a situation more common among older couples. In fact, two-thirds of previously married people between the ages of 55 and 64 have tied the knot again.

With a remarriage, it's common for a spouse entering into a new union to have more assets then they had when they first walked down the aisle. There's also the possibility of additional emotional and financial complications because of fully grown or near-adult children from a prior relationship. A strong, well-prepared prenuptial agreement could be an effective way for a remarrying spouse to divide their assets as they see fit.

A prenup can cover existing financial holdings and assets a spouse marrying again brings into another marriage and address how assets acquired during the marriage will be handled. Decisions can also be made about what assets will be shared with a new spouse and what will remain separate. For instance, a spouse may wish to make the inheritance process easier by keeping assets meant to be passed along to adult children separate. A soon-to-be-spouse may also be asked to formally waive their rights to money or property owned prior to remarriage if they are already good-to-go financially.

A divorce and family law attorney may also suggest that a client remarrying consider a postnup as well. Prepared after marriage, a postnup can provide added peace of mind by reaffirming what was originally agreed to in the prenup. A lawyer may also recommend that estate plans and beneficiary designations be updated. The main exception is employer-sponsored retirement accounts, which a spouse is legally entitled to inherit. However, this right can be waived with a pre- or postnup. Such documents can also be updated to reflect changing financial circumstances.

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