Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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Remarriage: How will child support and property use be handled?

When Massachusetts residents decide to remarry following a divorce or the death of a spouse, they will likely be more aware of the importance of proper financial planning before they say I do. There will be matters to address that likely did not come into play in a first marriage. Assets may been accumulated, and if there are children involved, one or both parties may receive child support. The manner in which child support and other matters will be handled may be better addressed prior to the wedding.

Family finances and property use will have to form part of discussions. Both parties may each have a residence, and they will have to decide which residence will be used. It may be decided that both properties must be sold to finance another residence for the new family. However, if the parties decide to sell only one property, how will they handle the funds obtained from that sale? Will it go into a separate account of the property owner, or will it be treated as a marital asset?

Another area not to overlook is updating retirement plans and life insurance. If these documents are not updated, the proceeds could go to an ex-spouse upon the death of one of the parties. The relevance of wills and estates will also have to be considered. At this time, they may also want to address contingent beneficiaries for life insurance and retirement plans.

Funds that will be received after the date of the marriage, such as child support, divorce settlement or life insurance may be better kept in a separate account. If such funds are put into a joint bank account, it is regarded as marital property with unrestricted access to both spouses. While experiencing the excitement of an upcoming second marriage, this may all seem overwhelming. However, an experienced Massachusetts family law attorney can answer any questions there may be, and provide the necessary support and guidance with drafting a prenuptial agreement if that is required by the client.

Source:, "Several financial issues should be addressed before remarrying", Mary Fox Luquette, Sept. 20, 2015

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