You may not have had a prenuptial agreement the first time around, but you are about to marry for the second time, and a prenup is strongly recommended. Here are five tips for putting together this important document:
1. Negotiate before the wedding
Bring up the postnuptial agreement before you begin planning the wedding. This is the time to work on the document together, when you are both in love and in a giving frame of mind. If your spouse-to-be balks at the idea of a prenup, perhaps you should reconsider your decision to marry.
2. Do not delay
Providing for the children of your first marriage is among the reasons you should sign a prenup before marrying again; you want to be sure their inheritance is protected. This is sufficient motivation not to delay preparing the prenup. If you do, you will need to think about creating a postnuptial agreement, and your new spouse may not see the need for such a document. Keep in mind, however, that a postnup is better than nothing, so keep working on convincing your spouse.
3. Avoid commingling assets
After you have remarried, the source of funds that you use for purchases, such as a joint account, will determine ownership. For this reason, you are advised not to commingle property, especially assets like cash or stocks.
4. Document all assets
Document all your assets—each of the paintings in your fine art collection, for example—and, to the extent possible, keep your separate property separate.
5. Understand the consequences
In addition to ensuring an inheritance for each of your children from a previous marriage, older couples may want a prenup to protect their nest eggs. Forward-thinking couples will want a prenup so that if divorce comes, it will (hopefully) go as smoothly as possible. In short, be sure you and your soon-to-be spouse understand the purpose of the prenup and are comfortable with its contents. Review it, sign it and relax before enjoying your marriage.