Due to an increased life expectancy, a 50% or higher divorce rate in the United States, and an increasing amount of second marriages, prenuptial agreements are now widely accepted. It is very important for seniors to approach the idea of a prenuptial agreement with an open mind. It must be emphasized that a prenuptial agreement does not mean that you are planning to get a divorce, or that you do not trust your new spouse. Instead, senior couples are now recognizing the seriousness of their upcoming commitment of marriage. Moreover, senior couples are now communicating their concerns for the future financial security of their other relatives, and are expressing their respect for the hard-earned assets and accomplishments of their future spouse.
Although many people look at a prenuptial contract as rather “unromantic,” the reality is that individuals in middle and later life are likely to have more significant assets than younger couples. Additionally, seniors often have important financial obligations in the form of alimony or child support payments, hard-earned estates they wish to leave to their children, and emotional baggage from their previous marriages. In order to provide a solid foundation for their future marriage, seniors should consider sorting through their finances. They should also create a plan for how they will merge their economic as well as their emotional lives.
Seniors should not jump into the serious business of marriage. There are some very harsh consequences that can occur if a senior does not carefully plan for economic ramifications. Life is not a romantic experience. If seniors came with me to divorce court for a week, then at least half would choose not to get remarried. At this later stage of life, seniors should carefully prepare a detailed and comprehensive prenuptial agreement that addresses every aspect of their financial life.