When you think about the prospect of two people getting married a certain mental image may coalesce in your mind’s eye. There they are, a pair of fresh-faced, childless young adults who are madly in love and looking radiant as they exit the ceremony as man and wife with moist-eyed relatives look on approvingly.
Under the circumstances above the idea that the couple entered into the union with a premarital agreement in place can seem less than romantic. Though this can be debated depending on the circumstances, when you are young and entering into your first marriage with neither party bringing children or extraordinary assets into it perhaps a premarital agreement is unnecessary. But not all marriages fit this cookie-cutter description.
Somewhere between 40% and 50% of all marriages end in divorce. The fact is that the majority of the people who get divorced remarry at some point in time, and there are children involved in most cases. So when you have accumulated assets and you are getting remarried a premarital agreement may be necessary so that you have the complete autonomy to create an estate plan that directs resources into the hands of your children after you pass away. This is not being insensitive to your spouse; it is simply acting responsibly toward your children.
Most people are well aware of the fact that premarital agreements exist, but you can enter into a post-marital agreement as well. You can alter the terms of the premarital agreement after marrying, or it can be the first agreement entered into between the partners. The post-marital agreement can be utilized in estate planning when a husband and wife don’t agree on how to craft a shared legacy. The agreement can divide community property and then each individual can create an estate plan that distributes his or her own personal assets in the manner that he or she would like to.
These agreements can actually help facilitate strong and healthy relationships and save marriages that are under strain due to differences of opinion regarding financial matters. To learn more about them, simply get in touch with an estate planning attorney to arrange for a consultation.