When marrying for the second time, you will have many things to consider, likely many more than when you first walked down the aisle. Where will you live? How should you co-parent a blended family? How should you manage your joint retirement plans?
At this point in your life, you may have significant assets. You may have purchased your home and other properties, grown a business and built up retirement funds. You may also have children from your first marriage.
Given the significant financial consequences of a second marriage, it would be prudent to formalize your family plans should you pass away or your marriage end. For these reasons, couples about to enter into a second marriage would particularly benefit from making a prenuptial agreement.
What is a prenup
A prenuptial agreement, or prenup, is a contract between you that will outline your agreed financial obligations to each other and, often most importantly, lay out what will happen if your marriage should come to an end. North Carolina follows the Uniform Prenuptial Agreement Act (UPAA), which means prenups are legally enforceable as long as they are made honestly and entered into voluntarily. Prenups don't go into effect until you are married, and they can be amended if you both choose.
Why get a prenup
Prenups may seem unromantic, but they facilitate vital discussions that couples should be having before they tie the knot.
They can alleviate fears and concerns that might hold them back and allow them to go into the marriage knowing that both parties will be cared for if things break down. Prenups are already very popular in marriages where one party has substantially more assets than the other. Still, they can be particularly beneficial for those embarking on second, or later-in-life marriages.
Your prenup can set out how you and your partner will support yourselves in your married life. If you are approaching or past retirement age, you can agree on a plan for how you will withdraw retirement assets between you to fund your household costs and maintain your life together.
Your prenup can also specify that an estate plan is put into place to ensure that your children are provided for. Were you to remarry without considering estate planning, your family business could be liquidated, or your assets passed in full to your spouse and subsequently on to their children, bypassing your own. You can make provisions, not just for your children and family property, but also to protect a business and intellectual property rights.
Experienced North Carolina Family Law Attorneys
Part of caring for your partner is being willing to have difficult conversations before encountering trouble in your relationship. After all, it is wise to fix the roof while the sun is shining.
If you are considering a second marriage, schedule a consultation with our experienced family law attorneys who can discuss your needs, and if you choose, guide you through your prenuptial agreement. Caulder and Valentine have offices in Shelby and Gastonia, and you can reach us on 704-470-2440 or contact us online.