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Gray prenuptial agreements on the rise as more older couples wed

Statistics from a leading research company have shown that older Maryland couples and others around the nation are divorcing at a rapid rate. While the divorce rate for all couples is actually decreasing, it has doubled for couples over age 50 and even tripled for those over age 65. The term "gray divorce" has been coined to acknowledge this trend. With gray divorces increasing, there has also been an uptick in the number of gray prenuptial agreements being sought.

Many seniors thinking about remarrying are coming into relationships with children from previous marriages, their own property and retirement accounts. They want to protect these assets as they enter into another marriage in the event a divorce may occur in the future. A prenup would also be instrumental in protecting certain assets for one's children if an individual died after remarrying.

Of course, a challenge in creating a gray prenup is finding the balance between the treatment of a new spouse as well as any relationships from the previous marriage. Individual and joint assets may be included in the prenup, as well as the retirement accounts of both spouses. Consideration should be given to who needs the funds more after one spouse's death.

Any beneficiary designations should be reviewed to ensure that they are up to date and ex-spouses have been removed from the documents. Unfortunately, for seniors, another major concern is long-term care expense. A prenup should address how assets would be used to meet the burden of paying for these expenses.

No matter what the couples' ages may be, prenuptial agreements are recommended before tying the knot. A Maryland divorce attorney can help develop a prenup to meet one's specific needs. Alternatively, a postnuptial agreement can be developed if the marriage has already occurred.

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