Is marriage really better the second time around?
Huffington Post says there are many positives going into a second marriage, in particular, “You know what marriage is like, warts and all.”
It’s true: People get wiser with age, especially after having been through a divorce. After a first marriage, you know:
- Marriage is work. There are no days off.
- You’re a whole person. You don’t need someone to complete you.
- You’re not marrying someone you think you can change.
- Divorce made you a stronger person.
- It’s important, to be honest in relationships.
You now know what you didn’t know then. One of the things you learned was that some marriages evolve and some dissolve, and that’s okay. This is one of the reasons why you may want to ask for a prenuptial agreement.
Why Ask for a Prenuptial Agreement?
If this is the second marriage for you both, your fiancé may be more understanding about why you feel the need to ask for a prenuptial agreement.
However, if this is the first marriage for either of you it’s important to consider the reasons for a prenup. For example, you may want to ask for a prenuptial agreement if your fiancé is entering the marriage with debt from their last marriage.
You should ask for a prenuptial agreement if you:
- Are still in school
- Have money saved for retirement
- Felt like you lost too much in your previous divorce
- Have children from a previous marriage
- Live in Arizona (a community property state)
- Own a business
- Own investment properties
- Want to protect your future inheritance and/or your children’s inheritance
The appreciation in value of a separate asset may become a marital asset, a business or rental property are examples. Without a prenup, in Arizona, marital assets are divided equally upon divorce.
How to Ask for a Prenuptial Agreement
You should plan a “meeting” between just the two of you. Be sure to point out this meeting is proof of your respect for your partner and commitment to your marriage. During that time, share your concerns – perhaps your fears – about how the two of you will manage the finances for your second marriage.
Share your feelings, for example: I have been burned badly; I lost my business. It’s important to me to have a prenup. “I” statements are key in this situation. It’s important to share the reasons and fears of why you want to ask for a prenuptial agreement. –Michelle Ogborne
A prenuptial or marital agreement for your second marriage offers several advantages to you both:
- Protection from responsibility for your partner’s previous debts.
- Create certainties and manage what happens in the event of death or divorce.
- Allowing you to control your finances and make decisions without permission from your spouse.
- Acknowledgment of ways you plan to advance your spouse’s career (working to put her through school, providing childcare while he finishes school).
- Celebrate your experiences. The agreement is the result of your mutual respect and understanding of the detours life can take. It feels good to do this.
- Children from prior marriages are protected.
- Your blended family of children and grandchildren are protected.
- Your business investors, stockholders, and employees are protected.
What if You’re Already Married?
If you’ve already tied the knot, you and your spouse should sit down and talk about finances in general. Your wills and estate plans should be updated to reflect your second marriage. You can put a postnuptial agreement (often called a “marriage contract” or a marital agreement) in place.
A Prenuptial Agreement Is ‘Romantic’
Romance happens when two people are attracted to and care about each other. When you ask for a prenuptial agreement, you’re not taking the romance out of your relationship. You’re reinforcing care, respect, and the need to protect yourself and your partner. It opens up communication between the two of you and that’s a great foundation to a lasting relationship.
To learn more about marital agreements, schedule a consultation with Ogborne Law.
Engaging with an attorney to protect your family is never an easy step. Whether you need to protect your family from the unthinkable or restructure your family through collaborative divorce, we’re here to help. When you’re ready to schedule a consultation with Michelle Ogborne, please visit the scheduling page to get started.