According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Americans are divorcing less. A commonly cited statistic is that 50% of U.S. unions end in divorce, but it is not so simple as saying only half of marriages survive.
One factor that skews the data used to find this number is the portion of the population entering second, third or even fourth marriages. It is not unusual in this day and age to remarry, nor is it an uncommon occurrence for underage children to become part of a blended family. If you are heading into a second marriage and worry about protecting offspring from a previous relationship in the case that you unexpectedly pass away or divorce, there exist tools to help you do so.
1. Irrevocable trusts
Creating one of these before the wedding helps you set aside assets solely for your children so that they stay separate from the marriage. What you put in an irrevocable trust remains untouched by divorce and debt since nobody may take it back from the beneficiary.
2. Revocable living trusts
With this option, you choose a trusted individual to manage any property or wealth in the trust until your children reach a specified age. The trust also shields its contents from courts, creditors and divorce. It also helps prevent irresponsible spending.
3. Prenuptial agreements
If you want to ensure your children receive a certain piece of family property, an heirloom or some other asset after your death, a prenuptial agreement may help protect it from divorce. What you agree to keep separate in the agreement is not marital property and thus ineligible for division.
Proper estate planning before a second marriage may help you protect your assets and underage children’s inheritance.