Statistics show that nearly 40% of all marriages involve a partner who has been married at least once before. Second and third marriages are more common today than ever before, and so are the prenuptial agreements that go along with them.
Prenuptial agreements are more common in second and subsequent marriages than they are in a person’s first marriage. In a second marriage, people are often older and have more property and assets to protect. Alternatively, spouses who lost property due to a lack of a prenuptial agreement in a first marriage rarely want to make the same mistake twice. For these and a variety of reasons, people who are getting married again should always consider a prenuptial agreement.
Protecting Pre-Marital Assets
Assets acquired during a marriage are considered community or marital property under Washington State law. Assets that a person owns prior to a marriage are generally not marital assets unless they have been commingled with community property. Couples who want to make sure that their pre-marriage property and assets remain in their possession if the marriage were to fail, should list the items or assets that they want to keep in the prenuptial agreement.
Additionally, a prenuptial agreement can protect future earnings. If one (or both) spouses will be reaching the height of his or her career in the years following the marriage, a prenuptial agreement can protect these amounts as well.
Protecting Existing Children
One of the most important reasons to have a prenuptial agreement before a second or subsequent wedding is to protect the children who are a product of a previous relationship. For instance, a prenuptial agreement could specify what type of property or assets will go to the children verses a spouse in case the marriage ends.
This type of agreement is especially helpful in case the marriage ends by death, rather than divorce. It is much easier for a new spouse to take over the majority of the deceased’s estate if there is no prenuptial agreement. If a person wants to keep this from being a possibility, a prenuptial agreement that specifies what goes to the new spouse and what goes to the children when the marriage ends will often be a great help in dividing the estate according to the wishes of the deceased.
At Pacific Northwest Family Law, our Washington family law attorneys are skilled at creating prenuptial and postnuptial agreements that can protect a couple in case of divorce. Our lawyers can create an arrangement that is fair to both parties and ensures that each spouse will have the financial resources to survive in the event that the marriage breaks down.
To learn more about how Pacific Northwest Family Law can help you, contact our office and schedule an appointment today by calling 509-572-3700.