After a divorce, should I get a prenup for my second marriage?

It is a tragic situation when a married person suffers the death of a spouse due to illness or accident. However, it is also a common scenario for Massachusetts residents that divorce separates two people who legally bound themselves together. Whether a marriage ends from death or divorce, a previously married individual may find herself later considering marriage for a second time.

Even though a divorce or death terminates a prior marriage, there can be many factors from that first marriage that carry over into a second marriage. Primarily, any children born of a first marriage may have inheritance rights from their parents. A second marriage may pre-empt children from inheriting from a parent if a second spouse gets ahead of them in the line of succession prior to the death of the parent.

Additionally, a person contemplating a second marriage – or their soon-to-be spouse – may carry a significant amount of debt. Just as some property is considered marital property, so too can some debt be considered marital debt. The debts and liabilities of one person’s former relationship can affect the financial health of a person when he enters into a second marriage.

Because these financial matters are so important, some people who choose to marry for a second time decide to execute prenuptial agreements. Even if they did not have prenups for their first marriages, they elect to use them the second time around in order to protect their interests, their children’s interests, and their wealth accrued from prior relationships. A prenuptial agreement, through its contractual formatting, allows a couple to make important decisions about their finances before they are married in order to preserve their rights after their unions are confirmed.

The end of a marriage can be a tragic time, but many people whose marriages end endeavor to start over in new marital relationships. The death or divorce legal issues that follow a person into his new life can be addressed through prenuptial agreements. Individuals with lingering questions about second marriage prenups may choose to speak with their legal representatives about the utility of such agreements for their lives.

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