When a person has multiple spouses over time, the legal and financial matters can get quite complicated. This is especially true when an individual has children from different marriages, finances and marital property across multiple marriages, and so forth. These situations and challenges can be fairly common when remarrying, and they also serve as a good reason to consider an airtight prenup before getting married again.
Remarrying is a wonderful thing; it means a new start and perhaps the love life you’ve always wanted with a person you adore. However, when it comes to the children of a previous marriage, as well as other matters, getting a prenup can be fundamental and it can dramatically reduce or avoid future risks or conflicts that may arise later on.
At Schultz Family Law in Portland ME, and as an experienced divorce and family law attorney, I have represented many clients who are remarrying and who have children, and although every case is different, I’d thought I’d share a few insights about remarrying with a prenup.
What a Prenuptial Agreement Does
A prenuptial agreement (also known as a premarital agreement) is essentially a legal document that a couple signs before getting married. This document often focuses on the financial aspects of the marriage, such as what may happen following a divorce or death. In Maine, a prenuptial agreement can cover:
- The rights and obligations regarding any property that either or both of them own
- The rights to buy, sell, use, or manage and control property
- What happens to property following a divorce
- Whether one spouse will owe alimony
- Any other matter as long as it’s in accordance with Maine laws (for example, Maine law doesn’t allow a prenuptial agreement to determine either child custody or child support)
Protecting Your Children’s Inheritance Rights
Additionally, remember that a prenuptial agreement also serves to better distinguish separate and marital property. Since you and your to-be spouse haven’t married yet, there is no marital property…yet.
A prenuptial agreement can help each party keep their individual property from becoming marital property, which can include personal assets left to your children from the previous marriage. A prenuptial agreement can also allow you to provide specifically for children from a previous relationship.
A major benefit of a prenup is that both you and your partner can know each other’s plans for property and children’s inheritance far in advance. There will be no surprises later on regarding your children and their inheritance rights because a prenup also allows you and your to-be spouse to discuss these issues, which can then be settled before the marriage.
Reinforcing Your Estate Plan
When planning for the future, you may also have an estate plan that includes a will or a trust that directs how assets will be distributed to your heirs following your death. Additionally, a prenuptial agreement that addresses your children’s inheritance rights also serves as a supplement to your estate plan.
After you get married again, however, you may want to amend the estate plan and include your new spouse, children from his/her marriage, and any children you may have together. Once again, I should repeat that a benefit of the prenup is that it brings you and your to-be spouse together to talk about these difficult issues. As such, by agreeing to protect the inheritance of your children from a previous relationship, you and your to-be spouse can develop a new estate plan together that respects these rights and honors the measures of the prenuptial agreement.
Call an Experienced Portland Attorney at Schultz Family Law
One of the most significant benefits of a prenup is that it allows protections for nearly every kind of asset, from art collections to cash to their inheritance. However, when creating a prenup for children from a previous relationship, it’s essential to make sure the prenup is completely air tight.
At the Schultz Family Law firm in Portland, we have extensive experience to make sure that your prenup has the comprehensive legal support that it deserves.