BOSTON (CBS) – According to the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology, 67% of second marriages and 74% of third marriages end up in a courtroom. Those are not good odds.
What is it about marriage that makes folks want to try it again and again? Maybe I should not be such a pessimist! I know we live in a very coupled world. Singles, whether by choice, divorce, or widowhood, feel left out of the mainstream social circles.
The second or third time around requires you to do more planning. And having been through it before you should know some of the pitfalls. Interestingly, studies show that most individuals actually repeat their mistakes!
Before you say “I do” again you need to start thinking like Donald Trump! With each marriage he has gotten smarter.
You need to have an open and frank dialog about money, children, estate planning and a prenuptial agreement. These agreements are not just for celebrities or the very wealthy.
A prenuptial agreement can provide a fair and equitable way for a couple to start a relationship, especially if one has more assets than the other or one of you is expecting to inherit future assets or there are children from a previous marriage you want to provide for.
The older you are when you enter into a second marriage the more you should be concerned about planning. Falling in love at any age has a way of throwing you off balance. You have a new person in your life and, of course, you want to take care of them.
But a word of caution, if you are entering into a relationship and you both have adult children, assets, and a home from a previous marriage, maybe you don’t want to get married.
Marriage comes with advantages and disadvantages. You could lose benefits from your first marriage such as a pension or health care coverage if you remarry.
Before saying “I do”, for the second or third time around, seek some professional advice.
Maybe you become friends with benefits!
One more thing: If you are married you are financially responsible for your spouse’s care. If you do not have an estate plan, the state of Massachusetts assumes you wish everything to go to your spouse and children if you should die. Half to each. That may not be what you want. You may want everything to go to your children upon your death.