Busting myths about marrying after 50
Going through a divorce after establishing a whole life together is never the desired outcome but one to be prepared for, nonetheless. From the beginning of your marriage and beyond the aftermath of divorce, you’ll need to be honest with what you want and get it in writing.
What may have been true 10 years ago about maintaining your personal and joint assets has most likely changed nowadays and you’ll want to update yourself on the best way to proceed.
If it seems that you’re both heading separate ways, make sure that your personal accounts will be sufficient to serve you after the divorce.
Marriage after age 50 is a wonderful thing, but it has some financial challenges, too. There is plenty to take into account, and plenty of money myths, if you plan to tie the knot in midlife — especially if your spouse-to-be has children from a first marriage.
Here are six common myths:
Myth No. 1: prenups are only for the rich and famous
Actually, if you’ve been married before and have children from a previous relationship, a prenuptial agreement is essential to ensuring that property will pass to children from the prior marriage, says Christine M. Searle, certified internal auditor and owner of Searle Business Solutions in Arlington, Va.
And, she says, even if you’re getting married for the first time, chances are you’ve accumulated significant assets by this point in your life (and perhaps even some debt). So you’ll need to plan how to handle those if, sadly, this marriage doesn’t work out.
Don’t think of a prenup as prearranging your divorce, Searle says, but more like writing your will. “If you don’t have certain things arranged,” she says, “the state gets to make decisions for you and that’s like dying without a will.”
After 50, the focus of a prenuptial agreement should be on protecting your children and grandchildren. “The context of a prenuptial should be how to do we provide together for our extended families,” says Carla Dearing, CEO of Sum 180.
For instance, in the U.S., states can let a surviving spouse claim his or her “elective share” in place of what was left in the decedent’s will. A prenup allows your spouse to waive the elective share so you won’t need to fear your estate plan will be challenged by your surviving spouse, says Philadelphia divorce lawyer Linda A Kerns.