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Second marriages and the advantages of a prenuptial agreement

Pennsylvania residents who are going into a second marriage may have a number of concerns that could be addressed with a prenuptial agreement. Among these are how to divide assets in case of a divorce, ensuring that both people have a comfortable retirement and old age, and dividing assets between the spouse and children after death.

The prenup can specify not just how to divide property but how to conduct the divorce as well. For example, the couple may want to agree that they will use a method like mediation rather than going straight to court.

If one spouse has a much more substantial retirement account than the other, the prenup might specify that they will primarily rely on that for support during retirement. The prenup can also make provisions for the spouse with little or no retirement savings in case of a divorce. Although the couple may both have adult children, they might want to continue offering them financial assistance in some form, and the prenup can address this as well. Furthermore, a prenuptial agreement can include an agreement to create an estate plan that provides for both children and the surviving spouse. One way to do this is with a credit shelter or QTIP trust that can make distributions to the spouse and then the children after the spouse dies.

There might be other considerations for either a divorce or a prenuptial agreement. For example, if there is debt, the couple will need to work out how to divide it. Even if one person agrees to pay off the debt, if it remains in both their names, creditors can pursue either of them for it.

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