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Prenups and second marriages: What to know

Why do people fear divorce? Besides representing the end of a dream, divorce means dealing with an often messy situation when it comes time to divide the marital assets and settle issues of spousal support. 

Despite what hopes people have when they meet at the altar, a lot of marriages do end in divorce. It’s commonly believed that half of all marriages end in divorce, but statistics show this is likely an oversimplification. Second and subsequent marriages may be more divorce-prone than initial marriages.

If you’re about to enter into a second marriage, it may be wise to consider a prenup. 

What is a prenuptial agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that helps decide what would happen if a married couple ever gets a divorce. A prenup is explicitly made before marriage. Couples can include instructions that detail what assets each spouse should expect to gain from a divorce.

A prenup can also include alimony, or financial support from one spouse to the other. Alimony is typically included if one spouse isn’t expected to work in a relationship. While child support cannot be included in a prenup, couples can make agreements about spousal support that are designed to protect both the stay-at-home partner and the primary wage earner if a divorce happens.

What if you don’t make a prenup?

If you neglect to make a prenup, you can make a postnuptial agreement, instead. A postnup works just like a prenup but it’s made after marriage. People often use postnups to amend prenups and include newly formed businesses or inheritance, for example.

Prenups and postnups have poor reputations, mostly because people don’t realize that they’re tools that can be used to give both halves a couple some security in their relationship. When they’re crafted with good intentions, they can keep a divorce from turning into a bitter feud.

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