According to the APA, between 40 and 50 percent of all marriages in the United States end in a divorce, which makes second marriages very common as well. As you prepare to enter into a second marriage (or if it is your fiancé’s second marriage), there may be some extra things for you to talk about. Communication is key to successful relationships, and now is the perfect time to take a look at these obligations and begin to craft an approach as a team.
When you get married, you combine financial lives, and you need to decide how to do that. Do you combine accounts? Do you keep them separate? How will you address previous financial debt or obligations? Do you or your fiancé have child support or alimony obligations from an earlier marriage?
Child Support Obligations
If you have child support or are marrying someone who pays child support, it’s essential to understand the financial obligation. The amount that someone pays can increase if their ex-spouse petitions the court and demonstrates greater financial need (on the part of the children) or increased income (on the part of the noncustodial parent). In Florida, the Child Support Guidelines determine how much child support someone pays based on their income.
Alimony payments can change if the supported spouse cohabits with another person or remarries. Often, alimony payments end when an individual remarries. In Florida, there are different types of alimony (permanent vs. for a specified amount of time).
What Does This Mean For Your Family And Your Future?
The Tampa Bay Times reported that “In 2017, 586,000 U.S. taxpayers said they paid $12.6 billion in alimony. But only 415,000 reported receiving support, of $10.5 billion, according to the IRS.” In Florida, the Florida Department of Revenue oversees child support services for all but two Florida counties (Miami-Dade County partners with the State Attorney’s Office and the Manatee County Clerk of Court facilitates child support services for Manatee County.) According to the Florida Department of Revenue’s website, “We provide child support services to close to one million children and collect over a billion dollars in child support each year.”
Looking at those numbers, it’s clear that both child support and alimony payments can dramatically impact a family’s budget and finances. What does that mean for the financial future of your family? Are you and your fiancé planning to have children? Did you know that established child support obligations have priority over new children born from a subsequent marriage?
Also, if you’re marrying someone with (or you have) minor children, you’ll want to consider what happens to them if either you or your new spouse dies. These questions and concerns all have a significant impact on the financial future of your family. One way to ensure that you’ve accounted for already-obligated child support or alimony payments, along with financial well-being, is to create a prenuptial agreement that outlines and protects both your interests and your fiancé’s.
Prenuptials & Estate Planning
In Florida, prenuptial agreements are called premarital agreements, and you can check out some of the key statutes here. Let’s discuss some essential components.
What is a prenup?
A prenup is a contract that serves as an agreement between you and your fiancé. Although a prenup may seem straightforward, it’s smart to consult with an attorney who specializes in estate planning. There are stringent regulations on how to draw them up. In general, there are a few things that tend to be common:
- They must be in writing. They cannot be a verbal contract only.
- Both parties must sign the document.
- When both parties sign the prenuptial agreement, they must do so freely, voluntarily, and with full knowledge of both the facts and the consequences within the document.
- The agreement needs to contain full disclosure of all financial assets and debts or obligations for both parties.
You and your fiancé will want to consult with individual lawyers to make sure that your best interests are taken into consideration. Estate planning can protect you both.
If you or your fiancé is responsible for child support or alimony payments and wants to explore estate planning and prenuptial agreements, Boyer Law Firm is here to assist you with the process. It doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult.