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Second Marriage And Estate Planning Common problems that can occur

by | Jun 11, 2017 | Division of Assets, Divorce, Estate Planning, Firm News

Getting married for a second time is fairly common. But the financial and estate planning issues that result from remarriage often pose a different set of problems than that of the first marriage.  For one, in the first marriage you have no prior issues to deal with such as children, support payments and an ex spouse to contend with.

The major problem with a second marriage deals with the issue of children. When you remarry with a different partner they too may have children and therein lies the issue of a new blended family. Child custody issues may arise not that there are new siblings and new stepparents involved in raising the children. If you have left over issues involving child custody then there might be difficult times ahead. The prior spouse may have issues with the new spouse their children. Who is making the rules now with the new family? is it the new spouse? Does their parenting of their children influence your parenting and effect your prior spouses concerns about their own children and what is happening to them.

If you and your new spouse keep a joint bank account to pay common bills therein lies another big problem.  If you have unresolved issues regarding money with the prior spouse then the second spouse might get involved in that dispute unknowingly and innocently.  If Creditors are after you from the prior marriage then they may continue the pursuit of your money including the bank accounts you have with the current spouse. Creditors are not going to divide the bank account they can attach and levy that holds your money.  Therefore you new spouse may jeopardize their own money by commingling in your bank account.  The best advise is the keep separate bank accounts from your new spouse knowing that the prior divorce is still pending and or many unresolved issues linger over for many years to come.

Another unknown issue that can come up in the new marriage is that of community property laws verse common law property issues. California is a community property law state and all income and property acquired during the marriage will be equally divided among the spouses when and if a divorce occurs.  However, in common law property states title prevails.  Ownership of a property will remain your property.  Therefore the community property law does not apply and equal division of your assets will not apply.  Thus if you and you new wife have property issues such as if you own property in a common law state and the new spouse owns property in community property state you may have to arrange your property issues prior to marriage.  A prenuptial agreement would be in order.

If you happen to die and your new spouse remarries then you will have issues regarding your estate.  A trust might be the best way to avoid your spouse from taking your money after your death.  Preparing post mortem will be very important to save all your assets for your children.