More and more Americans are delaying marriage until later in life. Those who do so usually bring more assets and past experiences into a marriage. While that can be a good thing, it can also present certain challenges. A recent Fox Business article provides several financial tips for older couples deciding to get married. Here we'll take a brief look at those tips.
The first piece of advice for older persons becoming engaged is to look into the possibility of setting up a prenuptial agreement. While these agreements are sometimes felt to be negative way to begin a life together, they can also save one from potential financial ruin.
Every couple's situation will be different. Some couple's may be better served by such agreements than others. If you feel you may be financially harmed if you and your spouse were to divorce one day, it is worth speaking to an attorney. For couples with significant separate property or children from previous relationships, it is definitely worth considering.
It is important for older persons to think about protecting their assets, particularly retirement accounts and life insurance. Because different states have different laws regarding property division, it is good to think through how those laws will affect one's property in a potential dissolution.
Michigan courts use the principle of equitable distribution for marital property. This means that all property owned by both parties is split between the couple in an equitable manner, which may or may not be 50-50. It is important to realize that, in equitable distribution states, property owned by both parties together and by either party separately is considered marital property.
A number of factors go into the consideration of what makes for an equitable distribution. Older couples should determine prior to marriage what assets they wish to keep off the table during a potential divorce, and work this into a prenuptial agreement.
In our next post, we'll continue with this topic.
Source: Fox Business, "Putting the 'Aged' in Engaged: Financial tips for Late Marriages," Julie Bawden-Davis, April 19, 2012