A Good Idea for the Second Time Around

The stereotype of a much older man (a “sugar daddy”) with a much younger women (a “gold digger”) is very often with foundation. Some men go into marriages in their sunset years looking for a younger woman who will take care of them, and very often these men protect themselves and their first families with a prenuptial agreement, a legal contract signed by the antique groom and the youthful bride before marriage, typically limiting the spouse’s rights to property and inheritance in the event of divorce.

“Prenups,” as they called, are often recommended for second (or subsequent) marriages when older spouses have property and adult children from early marriages. These agreements afford both parties a measure of protection because if the marriage in the sunset years crashes, the assets are already divided. Everyone is protected.

Prenuptial agreements work particularly well in marriages between an older man and a younger woman because when the “sugar daddy” is significantly older than the new wife, she is virtually certain to outlive him.

Even with these agreements, the parties must take care of their assets. For example, couples taint their assets by commingling them. For example, with or without a prenuptial agreement, a couple who put his money in their account make that money their money.

Good legal advice is a must in writing a prenuptial agreement. In general such agreements must be “fair and reasonable.” And even with a prenuptial agreement, a spouse normally makes some reasonable provision for a second partner in a will. In other words, in death one partner is not free to leave the other partner destitute and penniless by virtue of a premarital agreement in favor of his or her adult children.

At least 25 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA), which defines the terms and conditions of such agreements. UPAA provides that premarital agreements must meet the requirements of procedural fairness, fair financial disclosure and proper legal advice.

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