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Be Smart When You Say “I Do” the Second or Third Time

Can you believe that 37% of second marriages and 74% of third marriages end up in divorce? Those are not good odds. CBS Boston’s recent article, “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do: Second or Third Go Around,” asks, “What is it about marriage that makes folks want to try it again and again?”

It sort of goes without saying that when you land at the altar for the second or third time, you need to do some more planning than you did the first time. Use your past experience to pinpoint some of the pitfalls because there are studies—believe it or not—that show most individuals actually repeat their mistakes.

Before the ceremony, have an open and honest conversation about money, children, estate planning, and maybe even a prenuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement can be a wise move for almost anyone with assets; they aren’t just for celebrities or the very wealthy.

A prenup can provide a fair and equitable way for a couple to start a relationship—particularly when: one has more assets than the other; one spouse is expecting to inherit future assets; or there are children from a previous marriage for whom you want to provide.

It’s important to remember that the older you are when you enter into a second marriage, the more concerned you should be about planning. Love at any age can throw things out of kilter in a good way, and you want to provide for this new person in your life.

But marriage has its advantages and disadvantages. One of the disadvantages is potentially losing benefits from your first marriage such as a pension or health care coverage if you remarry. In addition, it could impact your Social Security benefits.

If you’re entering into a relationship, and you both have adult children, assets, and a home from a previous marriage, consider a prenup and a conversation with an estate planning attorney.

If you’re married, the law says that you’re financially responsible for your spouse’s care. If you don’t have an estate plan, most states will assume that you want everything to go to your spouse and children if you should pass away, with 50% going to each. That may not be what you wanted, and if you want everything to go to your children upon your death, you need to speak with a qualified estate planning attorney and create a sound estate plan.

Reference: CBS Boston (August 18, 2016) “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do: Second or Third Go Around”

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