7 Reasons for a Prenup Before Your Second Marriage

Sure, it's true that signing a prenuptial agreement can be one of the all-time romantic turnoffs. Yet for people heading into their second marriage, a prenuptial agreement can actually foster a finer romance, offering heightened security through financial and life planning.

A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract between two people about to marry. It specifies how assets will be distributed in the event of divorce or death. You don't have to be rich -- or even own a home -- for a prenup to be worthwhile. "The great benefit of a prenup is that it can prevent arguments over assets and save you much pain and money in the future," says attorney Peter Gellerman, who practices in Santa Monica, Calif.

"Signing a prenuptial agreement allows each partner to make an inventory of assets that he or she owned before the marriage, so you can establish your separate priorities," says Los Angeles attorney Dianna Gould-Saltman, a certified family law specialist.

"Even if you do nothing more than that in your prenuptial agreement, this gives children from a previous marriage a chance to have half of that property and establish what belonged to Mom or Dad before the second marriage," she adds, "along with establishing what you're taking with you should you leave the marriage."

Statistically, second or third marriages are more likely to result in divorce than first-time unions, making a prenuptial agreement an especially wise idea. According to Bankrate.com, you should consider having a prenup if you fall into any of the following categories:One of you is wealthier than the other.You have assets such as a house, stock or retirement funds.You own part or all of a business.You may be receiving an inheritance.You have relatives who need to be taken care of, such as disabled children or elderly parents.You could see a big increase in income because of a growing business.You have children and/or grandchildren from a previous marriage.Gould-Saltman recommends that each partner draw up a list of assets before seeing an attorney familiar with prenuptial agreements and the laws of the state in which you'll be living. Advance planning for how you want to structure your marital finances and assets will save you money.For professional couples, prenuptial agreements can be the ultimate protection against all-too-common lawsuits or medical malpractice suits, says Gould-Saltman. "You can't foresee everything, and prenups are a means of keeping your assets safe in the event of any financial problems that your spouse may experience."
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