Planning another wedding? Add 'discuss finances' to your to do list.
If you're preparing to head down the aisle for a second time, there are a few hard discussions about finances that you need to have with your new partner - sooner rather than later. Now, we understand that the prospect of fielding a second marriage may seem unsettling, but that is all the more reason why you and your spouse-to-be may want to consider a prenuptial agreement (or take the time to discuss financial matters in general) before you cut the wedding cake.
Here are a few points that should be open for discussion:
Discuss all assets, property, and debts which each party is bringing into a marriage.
Do you intend to keep your assets and finances separate from your new spouse's? If not, how do you intend to merge your income and assets into a cohesive financial plan? Have either of you ever filed for bankruptcy in the past? Is there anything on your credit history that might prove detrimental to your plans for the future? If one of you has significant debts, will you address them separately or jointly? All of these should be discussed well before the wedding. If you both insist on keeping your assets separate, consider adding a waiver of rights to your prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. A waiver of rights waives your new spouse's rights to any assets or property you brought into the marriage, in the event of divorce.
Disclose which assets you intend to pass along to your children from a previous marriage (if any) and not to your new spouse.
If you have property or assets which you'd like your children to inherit instead of your new spouse, be upfront with him/her about your plans. It's important to disclose this to them ASAP, so they can adjust their own financial plan, if necessary. While discussing it privately is important, you will also need to lay it out in very specific language in a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial (as well as in your last will and testament) to ensure that your wishes have legal bearing.
Decide what happens in the event that you divorce. This isn't your first marriage.
Therefore, you and your future spouse need to decide how joint assets will be divided in the event of a divorce, how any joint debts will be handled, and who will pay alimony to whom. (Child support arrangements are always decided by the court.) All of this information should be plainly laid out in your prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.
Make sure there are no conflicts with your previous divorce agreements, if applicable.
If either of you receive alimony or child support payments from an ex-spouse, revisit your divorce settlements and make sure that you know how your support payments and any child custody arrangements will be affected once your remarry.
File your prenuptial and update your will.
It's usually in your best interest to sign and file a legally-binding prenuptial before the marriage takes place. If you've neglected to draw up such a document before the wedding, you can draw up a postnuptial agreement instead. Don't forget to update your will and relevant retirement accounts to include the name of your new spouse.