People fall in love at many different stages in life, and some relationships are a bit more complicated to pursue than others. For those who already have children and who have fallen in love with someone who has children from a previous relationship, the future blended family unit will be larger and more complex than the original families that the couple intends to combine.
Blended families create a number of unique challenges, not the least of which involve housing needs that can be difficult to meet and more complicated financial circumstances. Prenuptial agreements can play an important role by helping to stabilize a blended family.
How prenuptial agreements help
Those starting a blended family will benefit from discussing certain issues and putting their agreements in writing. Prenuptial agreements help clarify your expectations for one another and the family. When you have to talk about finances, the family lifestyle and inheritance issues, the two of you can help ensure that your expectations and values overlap or at least intersect where necessary. Some couples actually find that they have stronger, happier marriages because a prenuptial agreement helped them identify challenges ahead of time.
Additionally, although one should rarely make life choices based solely on statistics, those starting a blended family after a divorce cannot ignore the fact that divorce rates are higher for second and subsequent marriages as opposed to first marriages. Any couple would likely benefit from addressing property division matters and other concerns at the start of their relationship when they are on good terms with each other, but couples with higher divorce risks can potentially benefit from this process even more than members of an average household.
Your new marriage can put your children at risk
While getting married is meant to be a lifetime commitment, you never know what the future may bring. Whether you file for divorce or die before your spouse, your decision to remarry could potentially diminish what your children inherit.
A prenuptial agreement can help you make your intentions regarding your most valuable property clear with your spouse and pave the way for your estate planning documents to establish a clear inheritance for your children. Otherwise, an estate plan that deviates from state rules regarding the inheritance rights of a spouse could be at risk of a challenge in probate court.
Starting your marriage out on the right foot often requires having some difficult conversations with your fiancé before the two of you legally wed, but creating a prenuptial agreement can produce long-term benefits for all members of a blended family.