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Older and getting married? Consider a prenuptial agreement

The average age of couples walking down the aisle is said to be increasing. While previous generations typically got married in their early 20s, millennials say "I do" closer to 30 years of age. Also, many same-sex couples who have been together for years can now get married as a result of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, and other couples may be getting married for a second or third time. With the high number of divorces nationwide, including here in Texas, a prenuptial agreement may be an important insurance policy in the event of a subsequent divorce.

While a prenuptial agreement can direct what will happen in the event of a divorce, getting married later in life requires careful consideration of various matters, including potential tax implications. If both parties are high-income earners, filing taxes as a couple may result in a significantly higher tax bill than more than when they were single. However, couples in which one spouse earns significantly less may benefit when it comes to taxes. In any event, it is typically important to protect the interests of both spouses and their respective heirs in case one party should pass away or become incapacitated.

Estate plans may need updating, especially in second or third marriages. Each spouse may have children from previous marriages and may need some assets to be protected. Wills and testaments may need adjustments, and trusts may have to be established. New powers of attorney for financial and medical incapacity will likely have to be chosen. Some suggest that each party retain the services of an attorney and other supporting professionals such a tax consultant and an estate planner.

While estate planning can address what happens in the event of a spouse's death, a prenuptial agreement can ensure that both parties are treated fairly in the event of a divorce. An experienced divorce attorney in Texas can assist a client in drafting an agreement to protect personal and business interests. It can also address matters such as spousal support, inheritances for children from a prior marriage and more.

Source: cnbc.com, "Older and engaged? Here are 5 considerations before marrying", Anna Robaton, Dec. 14, 2015

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