Texas residents who are considering marriage later in life have many aspects to consider. Choosing between marriage and cohabitation is complicated, as each option has pros and cons to evaluate. These are important decisions that may deserve the advice and guidance of skilled legal counsel to ensure informed choices are made. When one or both parties in an older couple have accumulated assets and/or built successful businesses, a prenuptial agreement may be worth considering as a viable proposition.
The dynamics of each couple are unique, and a prenuptial agreement can be drafted to address the individual issues and concerns of each party. At the same time, a prenuptial agreement can protect the assets of each party. Marriages of older couples typically involve grown children and inheritances that need to be protected — not only in the event of a divorce but also the death of one partner.
Advantages of marriage include potential health care insurance coverage under a spouse’s employment plan, veterans’ benefits when applicable, and the rollover status for spouses in IRA and 401(k) plans. On the other hand, if getting married will terminate benefits from a previous spouse, such as alimony, pension and more, cohabitation may be an appropriate option. Also, remarriage before the age of 60 may affect Social Security under a deceased spouse’s benefits.
These are but a few of the matters that may influence an older couple’s decision to marry or live together. A consultation with an experienced Texas family law attorney can also provide valuable information related to the potential termination of a relationship between two older individuals. This will involve discussions about a prenuptial agreement and the level of asset protection offered by marriage versus cohabitation, along with the tax implications related to inheritances.
Source: dailylocal.com, “Colliton: Marriage vs. cohabitation can be a hard call for seniors”, Janet M. Colliton, Aug. 1, 2016