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Second time around: What you should think about when remarrying

You never thought it would happen again--but you've found love! Older and wiser, you've learned from the experience and you are excited to start your new journey with your new mate. Your divorce is in the past and you don't ever plan on going through another one. Yet, you can't help but wonder: Should you be more prepared before you walk down the aisle this time?

Aren't prenup agreements just for the wealthy?

Prenuptial agreements are never a bad idea, even for couples marrying for the first time. If the couple divorces, a good pre-nuptial agreement can save thousands in attorney's fees. But if this is not your first marriage, a prenup is even more important. You might wonder why in a second marriage, a prenuptial agreement is so vital.

There is one simple reason: assets--yours, mine, and ours. Without an agreement on how assets will be divided in the event of a divorce, everything you acquire during your marriage is a part of the marital estate and subject to division by the court. You figured that was the case, so why worry about what you had before you were married? It's still yours, right?

Save now, pay later

It's true that Pennsylvania law allows you--and only you--to keep pre-marital property if you divorce. But the truth is that without a specific agreement on exactly what that property is, a good attorney (your's or your spouse's) will argue that all property is marital property, and while in the long run you will no doubt be able to keep your pre-marital assets, you'll likely spend a great deal of money in attorney's fees proving they were yours to begin with.

The solution? Find a good attorney and draw up a prenuptial agreement that specifically lists each asset owned by each party. Be exact, be thorough and then be done. Sign it, date it, and get on with the business of being a happy couple. The likelihood that is you will never need it, but safeguarding your financial future is always a smart idea.

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