Midlife marriages can be wonderful unions. At midlife, you’re more mature. You may feel more comfortable with who you are and who it is you want to be with. There’s usually less drama and strife with a midlife marriage.
Still, finances concerning midlife marriages can be a very different animal altogether — and may pose specific problems for your union.
This is often because two midlife adults getting married tend to have their own separate assets: homes, savings, businesses, retirement plans, profits and salaries, etc. This is your separate property when you’re single, but when you get married, it’s possible that it will become community property between you and your new spouse.
For this reason, some midlife marriages experience significant contention over finances. Some even end in divorce.
To avoid surprises, be sure that you’re aware of what happens to your individual property when you marry. Here are just a few examples of what could happen:
- When a spouse contributes to your business or your home, they may gain equitable rights as a result.
- Without careful estate planning, your spouse may automatically be entitled to a minimum of half of your assets accumulated during your marriage. If the value of your assets increases, your spouse will also be entitled to the added value.
- If you have a joint bank account, any money you deposit into the account will automatically become community property.
- Your home will become community property if you refinance and add your spouse’s name.
Do you need a prenuptial agreement?
Whether you are entering into a midlife marriage or a marriage at age 25, arranging and signing a prenuptial agreement is always a good idea. This agreement sets in stone the division of your assets. Speak to a lawyer today about how to arrange for a prenuptial agreement before your midlife marriage.