Divorce is no longer taboo. In fact, divorce is so common that close to 50 percent of all marriages will end in divorce. That is a shocking statistic for some, while others feel that it is not high enough to explain the rate of divorce in the United States. Divorce is hard enough on both spouses. It can be unbearable when there are children involved for both the parents and the children. When a divorce ends one marriage it could very well mark the beginning of another. If you are planning to remarry and you have minor children you will want to do everything possible to protect your children.
Update Your Estate Plan
If you had an estate plan in place from your previous marriage, which would have named guardians for your children and other important information, you will want to review this with an attorney immediately. After reviewing the estate plan you need to determine what should be changed, omitted, and added to reflect your new life. Do not wait until your second marriage begins. Update the estate plan after your divorce is finalized and then again after you exchange vows with your new spouse.
Check Financial Accounts
Be sure to check all of your financial accounts. You don’t want to keep accounts open that have both your name and the name of your former spouse on them, especially if there is debt from the previous marriage still owed to creditors. Keeping joint accounts open from your first marriage could very well put you in a bad position when you get remarried, especially if you have minor children from the first marriage. It’s possible your former spouse could clean out the account, which would reduce the assets your children are eligible for upon your death.
Create a Trust for Your Children
One of the best ways to protect your children when you remarry is to create a trust. A trust will protect your assets should you die. The trust will prevent your new spouse from holding onto your assets against your wishes. The trust operates based on your explicit instructions, which means your minor children will be provided for upon your death.
You can instruct to have assets put into the trust and not disbursed until your minor children reach an age that you specify. You can also appoint a trusted person to handle the trust. Creating a trust ensures that the assets you want to go to your children go to them upon your death instead of your second spouse.
Update Beneficiaries on Accounts
It’s also important to update the beneficiaries on all of your accounts, including life insurance policies, when you get divorced and then remarried. You can name your minor children as beneficiaries of your accounts instead of your former spouse or even your new spouse. This can be done as part of a trust, where the proceeds of the policies would be put into a trust upon your death.
As you can see, there’s quite a bit you can do to protect your minor children when you remarry. Make sure you follow the tips outlined here today and speak with an experienced divorce attorney about your situation.