Good Gift Idea for a Second Marriage: A Prenup

On behalf of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Agreements on Thursday, September 6, 2012.

The probability of divorce is around 50% for first marriages. For second marriages, it’s more like 67%. The National Center for Family and Marriage Research recently analyzed the data, and found that the overall divorce rate was greater for second marriages.

What some clients don’t realize is that going through a second, third, or fourth divorce can be more complicated than first-time divorces. In multiple divorces, couples are older, and have less time to make up for losses. Also, couples are competing for dwindling resources. Child-support, alimony, and dividing up of the retirement accounts may still be pending, and there can be little left to divide in a second divorce.

Prenuptial agreements can be extremely important if you are thinking of marrying again, and they are not just for the ultra-rich. You can limit what’s in a prenup. Some can simply state what assets each party has brought into the marriage, and what assets each party will take away if the marriage ends. Or, if there is a disparity in incomes, you can add to the contract how much the lower-income spouse will receive. Also, if you have children from previous marriages, you can also provide some protection for an inheritance.

Of course, a prenup isn’t a requirement, you could just live together without the vows.

That may turn out swell if you are both earning about the same amount of income. Boback cautions, however, “It’s good for the person with all the stuff — and money. But the person who takes care of the home or kids and has nothing of their own after, say, 10 years of living together and then splitting up? They’re out of luck.”