Kennedy Law Associates

Reasons to use a prenup for a second marriage

Some older people entering a second marriage in North Carolina might want to consider getting a prenuptial agreement. While this may not be necessary for people in their 20s who are going into a first marriage, people in their 50s and older likely have much more complicated lives and assets.

A prenup is not a guarantee of harmony. In fact, bringing up the need for one could create issues before the marriage even happens. However, a prenup can perform a number of important functions, including protecting children from a previous relationship. People going into a second marriage often have concerns about how to balance obligations to both a new spouse and children. This may include ensuring that the spouse is supported throughout retirement and aging but also making sure the children receive assets if the person dies.

Some people may not realize that a prenup can function in tandem with an estate plan. In fact, the prenup can specify that once married, the couple must create an estate plan with certain provisions. Furthermore, a prenup is not just a way to ensure that one spouse does not have access to the other's assets. It may work the other way around as well, ensuring that a person with no retirement plan still gets a portion of the spouse's assets.

A prenup may make the divorce process easier, but if a couple has minor children, they will still need to negotiate child custody, visitation and support. These cannot be included in a prenup and may invalidate the document if they are included. A prenup may also be invalidated if it appears that one person was coerced into signing or did not get sufficient legal counsel. A couple might still be able to reach an agreement through negotiation even if they have to set the prenup aside, or they may have to go to court.

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