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What should older couples pondering remarriage know going in?

We are living longer. Women tend to live longer than do men. These are not secrets that should surprise anyone in Arkansas. Indeed, longevity is so much the norm that it's more common than ever for once-married seniors to enjoy love and companionship more than once in their lives. If the U.S. Census Bureau's numbers are accurate, about one in five marriages in the U.S. are between individuals who have walked down the aisle before.

It can be heartening to know that such opportunity exists. But long years of life also mean you have likely grown your own set of complicated assets. If you are contemplating marriage these days, it is probably wise to consider the possibility that it might not work out. The marriage could end in divorce. Alternatively, all cards being on the table, a spouse's death is a possible factor.

Questions about who will get what in such circumstances is something that every couple should be prepared to raise and answer. It is perhaps even more important for older couples to take into account. Financial and legal issues that could arise for those marrying later in life can complicate life not just for the couple but also for members of any resulting extended family.

In some cases, older couples might find it more cost effective to remain unmarried. Living together doesn't carry the social stigma that it used to, so many couples getting together later in life choose to cohabit. Marrying can have broad implications as far as Social Security benefits and taxes are concerned. Benefits from a dead spouse's pension could be jeopardized, too.

If marriage is the route chosen, experts generally agree that protection of assets should be a priority and a premarital agreement is one sure way to make that happen. And working with a skilled family law attorney is recommended to be sure that it meets legal requirements.

Source:, "Second time around," Amy Leap, Aug. 3, 2016

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