As family dynamics continue to change, more blended families are created. As Ohio residents know, a blended family might result from a divorce, marriage or remarriage, and with this new structure come issues that might be best addressed before the wedding day.
During an uncontested divorce, a couple negotiates their financial settlement as well as child custody and support agreements. However, when there is a remarriage, the new couple, both of whom might be parents sharing custody of kids, might need to discuss their financial plans for their new family. Experts recommend beginning the process with total honesty about the financial state of each family and what each person believes is fair when it comes to assets. In fact, they suggest drafting a prenuptial agreement or at least discussing the issues that would be covered by one, such as each person's financial status and how much the couple wants to combine their assets.
Couples need to address how they will handle day-to-day expenses as well as updating insurance information, beneficiary forms and establishing who would take care of the children in case of the parent's death. This is also the time to talk about bank accounts and tax filings and how each person expects to handle these. Finally, there should be some focus on college expenses and retirement plans. The latter might be of greater concern, as college students might have several options to pay for their education and can help with the costs, but the retirement savings are up to the couple themselves.
Parents who find themselves about to start a blended family might find the assistance of counsel valuable. If they decide to go forward with a prenuptial agreement, they will need to have separate legal representation to avoid any conflicts of interest, however.