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January 31, 2022

Divorced? Separated? Would you ever consider getting married again?

Statistics suggest that more second marriages fail than first marriages.

Despite this, many divorced or widowed men and women do remarry, complicating their financial affairs and creating a fluid network of step-relatives, all with their own sets of financial expectations.

As couples get older and their lives more complicated, more of those entering new relationships seem to be choosing to postpone or forgo such formal arrangements for fear of these financial consequences.

And second-time-around Canadians are much more inclined to talk about marriage contracts or prenuptial agreements than they once were.

Are you one of them? Do you know someone who is?  

By the time people enter a second or even third marriage they often have substantial assets — sometimes one more than the other. And planning for all the various contingencies can get messy.

Blended families often have to care for several children and more than one household, for instance. And past spouses and partners never really go away, it seems.

But, while deciding who pays which bills and whose health insurance policies to keep can be tricky, there’s a bigger worry for couples bringing together assets and children from a previous relationship – the uneasy sense that someone may get screwed in the process.

And that's not the half of it, says author Adryenn Ashley in her book Every Single Girl's Guide to Her Future Husband's Last Divorce.

Even though you and your future partner may be madly in love, that past divorce could really affect your financial future. Whether it's the amount of child support he's supposed to pay every month or the way assets were split, you have the right to know the details, she maintains.

Your ex, for instance, may try to pay less in child support if your household has grown with the addition of a new spouse. Or perhaps those insurance policies don't have the same beneficiaries that they once did?

With at least one relationship behind you, do you worry about such financial concerns? How have you protected your family? 

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money




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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...