As the baby boomer generation has moved into retirement age, many are choosing to make big life moves. Baby boomers are increasingly staying in the work force, pursuing new ventures, as well as getting divorced and remarried. These are often not their first marriages, which means that they may have a web of previous obligations and financial entanglements to sort out. Here is a non-exhaustive list of some key financial points to keep in mind to make this big transition as stress-free as possible:
Assets can come in many forms, but a major one at this stage is likely retirement benefits. Your retirement benefits can absolutely be affected by a new marriage. You need to discuss all aspects of your benefits and decide whether you want to add to each other's retirement plans or keep them separated.
One of the first things that needs to be done is both parties need to talk with their families about this new development. Grown children are often quite involved in assisting their parents with their affairs and will have grown accustomed to the current arrangement. They likely won't have given their parent's remarriage much thought and may have concerns. Put everything on the table with your children in order to eliminate any confusion throughout this process.
Another key thing to consider is where you are going to live. Are you going to purchase a home together? Is one individual moving into a house that the other one already owns? These are things that you need to discuss before getting remarried and then act accordingly so that you don't end up turning separate assets into community property in the case of a divorce or separation down the road. If there is a concern about co-mingling your property such as your home, you need to consult with your lawyer and make sure that you are acting in a way that could not be misconstrued.
New couples need to decide who they wish to protect with their life insurance policies and what level of protection is appropriate given your income level. Given the new relationship and upcoming marriage in your life, these policies may need to be amended from their previous configuration.
Given the fact that this may not be one's first marriage, it is quite common to have either alimony or spousal support coming in or going out. If you are on the receiving end of these payments and get remarried, adding to your combined income, it is quite possible that these payments will stop. If you are the one making the payments to unmarried exes or children, it is likely that you will be required to continue to do so.
Our attorneys regularly speak on family law and parenting plan matters. Elise has extensive experience in high-conflict parenting disputes. If you have any questions about Washington state divorce law, mediation or child custody, please contact us at [email protected] or 206-926-9848.