When you hear the term “prenuptial agreement,” there is a good chance you think about a high-net worth couple looking to protect financial interests and holdings. Even if the couple has not accumulated a significant amount of wealth, a prenuptial agreement may still be used in situations where one or both spouses own a business or a portion of a business. There is, however, another very common scenario in which a prenuptial agreement is, at the very least, a good idea if not indispensable. A prenuptial agreement can be used to protect the rights of children from a previous relationship for both you and your spouse.
If you have children from a previous marriage, their needs must be a consideration in your relationship with your new partner. Getting remarried does not terminate your responsibilities for paying child support, for example, so you and your new spouse must make arrangements within your marriage on how such payments will be made. Similarly, you may wish to help your children pay for college or other significant investments. In negotiating a prenuptial agreement with your soon-to-be spouse, you can clearly lay out your responsibilities as they pertain to your children and how, if it all, such payments will affect your new marital estate.
Does your family have an heirloom that has been passed down from one generation to the next? Would your child from the previous relationship be the next in line to receive it, according to your family’s traditions? If this is the case, a prenuptial agreement would allow you identify that particular piece of property as intended for the appropriate child in the event that something should happen to you. With such an agreement in place, the heirloom would not be passed to your spouse upon your death or become part of the marital estate in a potential divorce. The same holds true for other assets that you intend your children to inherit, regardless of their status as heirlooms.
Another important aspect of a prenuptial agreement for parents looking to remarry is life insurance. Your agreement can specify how much life insurance you and your spouse will carry on one another and who the beneficiaries are. For example, you may decide that 50 percent of your death benefits should be payable to your spouse, 25 percent to your children from your previous relationship, and 25 percent to any children that you and your new spouse may have. By including these type of terms in a valid agreement, there will be little doubt about your intent should the issue ever be contested.
Call for Help
If you are a divorced parent who is thinking about getting remarried, you should consider the benefits of a prenuptial agreement. Contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney to learn more about how such agreements can provide security and peace of mind for years to come.