Getting Remarried and Safeguarding Assets. Help A Reader Out

by Neal Frankle, CFP ®

Getting remarried can’t be easy.  From a financial standpoint alone, there is a lot to work out.  “B” was going through the process herself and was stuck.  She sent me an email looking for a little direction. Here is her situation.

“B” is in her late 50’s with 2 young adult children and a thriving business. She’s got no debt, equity in her home, a rental property and a nice retirement account. Her fiancé is financially secure but he’s in the middle of a few business deals that are tying up his assets and cash flow right now.

They both love each other and want to get married. The plan is for “B” to sell her home and business, marry Steve and move in with him. “B” asked for my input. She wasn’t quite sure that her plan was a good one. (If this topic is of interest, read my post on keeping finances separate in marriage.)

I was really glad “B” emailed me. It seemed like she was taking all the risk in this adventure. I didn’t even want “B” to open a joint account with her fiancé. While I am sure Steve did not consciously manipulate “B” I didn’t like the smell of things. Why?

First, Steve is in the middle of what seems to be some very important financial transactions. Nobody – not even Steve – knows how these dealings are going to turn out. Theoretically, a bad result could have a significant impact on Steve and that would be terrible for “B”. That is especially true if she sells her business and then doesn’t have enough income to support herself.

In her email, “B” asked me about contacting a pre-nup attorney. I thought this was brilliant. But I suggested that she hold off until Steve’s business deals are complete. Why? Because we don’t know what Steve’s finances are going to look like until those transactions are done. getting remarried

If “B” and Steve tie the knot and “B” gives up her home and business, she’ll need to have some financial assurances in case things don’t work out between them. This is where that pre-nup is going to be crucial. But as I said, they can’t reasonably create that pre-nup agreement right now and therefore, they should hold off on getting hitched until the clouds have cleared.

Bottom line? I suggested to “B” that she not move or sell her business until Steve wraps up his business. What different advice would you provide to this couple before they remarry?

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Daisy@Everything Finance February 20, 2013 at 9:15 PM

I have to full heartedly agree with you. Slowing down a bit really won’t hurt, and probably help you in the long run. Time will help things become more clear.

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