Eric S. Neumann, APLC
Family law attorney serving clients in Lafayette and throughout Acadiana
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Prenups and second marriages

Entering a second marriage carries a set of complications that younger couples do not face in their first marriage. A prenuptial agreement can help address matters such as property division and support after re-marriage. There are, however, pros and cons with these agreements.

Remarrying raises new concerns. These include supporting the new spouse when they retire and age, payment of expenses and accumulating martial property if they retire. If the marriage is unsuccessful, the spouses need to consider the financial results. Issues concerning the children should be addressed, such as their inheritance and balancing the needs of the children and the new spouse.

A second prenuptial agreement can deal with these concerns. The couple can agree how they support themselves and a complete plan for withdrawing retirement assets. They can address issues such as unequal retirement plans by agreeing to rely on the larger plan and making minimal distributions from the smaller one. They can agree to pay for household expenses equally or in proportion to their assets.

A prenuptial agreement can also address dividing the couple's community property in Louisiana. The spouses can agree to a fair division of property that deals with the lack of income coming into the marriage during retirement and which provides support for the spouse with fewer assets.

Also, second marriages are unique because a spouse may want to bequest assets to their new spouse and to their children from their first marriage when they die. Under the prenup, the spouses can agree to an estate plan that allows this division. Assets may be placed in a QTIP trust or a credit shelter to benefit the surviving spouse during their lifetime, with the remainder going back to the children of the first marriage when the surviving spouse dies.

A prenup can also allow the couple to agree to a divorce process that avoids the expense and disruption of litigation. Alternative methods may include mediation, arbitration and collaborative law.

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