Prenuptial Agreements for Second Marriages: How Can a Prenup Be Beneficial When You Remarry?

Article written by Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Updated on
November 1, 2019

In this article, we will answer the questions “why should I consider a prenuptial agreement when remarrying?”, “how can a prenup help to protect my children’s inheritance?”, and “how do prenuptial agreements for second marriages differ from first marriages?”

For some foundational information, read our article on Prenuptial Agreements.

Why Should I Consider a Prenuptial Agreement When Remarrying?

Statistically speaking, couples are more likely to get divorced if one or both partners have already gone through a divorce.  That being said, some people may feel hesitant to remarry, having already experienced an expensive or prolonged divorce.  A prenuptial agreement with your future spouse can provide and peace of mind, as it is a contract outlining issues such as the payment of alimony, division of assets and other financial concerns that may have been difficult to resolve during your first divorce.  

Preparing for separation or death with a prenup can lead to a stronger marriage, especially if there are specific pitfalls you are hoping to avoid.  For More on this, check out our article: Can a Prenuptial Agreement Lead to a Stronger Marriage?

Should a divorce become necessary, a prenup will ensure that it is as smooth and inexpensive as possible, because all of the issues that could be potential sources of tension and litigation can be resolved in advance.

You may also want to consider a premarital agreement if you or your partner have assets you would like to set aside for children of a previous marriage.

How Can a Prenup Help to Protect My Children’s Inheritance if I Remarry?

The division of assets can get complicated if you had children with your ex-spouse.  For example in a marriage where both spouses have children from a previous marriage, if there is no prenup in place it is likely that the children of the first spouse to pass away will be left with nothing while the children of the second spouse to pass away will inherit the assets of both spouses.  

A prenup can allow your the surviving spouse to inherit the assets of the first spouse to pass away, while still ensuring that when the second spouse passes, the children of both spouses receive a fair inheritance.  With a prenuptial agreement, you can also designate which specific assets will go to whom, regardless of which spouse passes away first.  

For more on this, check out our article: How to Update Your Estate Plan When You Remarry.

How do Prenuptial Agreements for Second Marriages Differ from First Marriages?

Whether you are getting married for the first time or the third time, the fundamentals of a prenuptial agreement remain the same.  The biggest difference between prenups for first marriages and prenups for second marriages is the inclusion considerations regarding children from previous marriages.  

Another key difference is that couples that have been through a divorce are more likely to be open to a thorough conversation about planning for issues that may arise in a divorce in order to prevent a similar situation from recurring. Many couples entering a second marriage may wish that they had brought up a prenuptial agreement before their first marriage.  For more on this: How to Bring Up a Prenuptial Agreement With Your Future Spouse. 

Contract-based assets such as life insurance policies and retirement funds are more likely to be addressed in prenups for couples entering a second marriage, but this is typically due to the age of each party.

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