You’ve got your kids. Your spouse-to-be has his or hers. Soon, everybody will be living together as one big, happy family. Right? Well, sometimes this can be easier said than done. But while the emotional and logistical aspects of bringing two families together can take time to work out—and you can work them out—there are several things you can do to simplify the process.

The “P” word 

Just saying the word “prenup” out loud may leave a bad taste in your mouth. But this legally recognized document can offer real advantages for engaged couples with kids from previous marriages. Here are a few benefits that a prenup can offer: 

  • It helps make sure your kids get what you’ve promised them. For example, if you previously willed property or money to your kids, a prenup can help make sure they receive it if you get divorced. 
  • It creates a framework for your new financial life as a couple. A prenup lays out who gets the money and assets you obtain together during your marriage.

​If a prenup makes sense for you and your spouse-to-be, each of you may consider working with a lawyer to represent your interests.  Take care of these considerations now so you can avoid sticky situations later.

Accounting for accounts

As with any engaged couple, you’ll want to decide how you’re going to manage your various household bank financial accounts. Everything together? Separate but (hopefully) equal? Or a combination of both? How you set up your accounts now can have legal implications if you divorce later—so be sure to discuss these big decisions with your fiancé before the big day.  

Update the estate 

It’s also important for you and your partner to talk about wills - the legally binding documents that stipulate who gets what after one of you dies. You may also want to update your guardianship provisions and rename beneficiaries for your retirement plans and life insurance policies.  

Your place or mine?  

If both of you own a house, you may decide to sell (or rent out) one of them and live in the other. If you decide to sell, you’ll want to take into consideration many things, including which home has more equity and which can offer a bigger mortgage interest deduction. And you’ll want to consider a retitle of the house you share to reflect your joint ownership.  There’s a lot to think about when you’re combining families. But with patience and planning you can make it a smooth transition for everyone.  

Securities and investment advisory services offered through Voya Financial Advisors, Inc., member SIPC.

Neither Voya nor its affiliated companies provide tax or legal advice. Please consult with your tax and legal advisors regarding your individual situation.

This material is provided for general and educational purposes only; it is not intended to provide legal, tax or investment advice. We recommend you consult an independent legal or tax advisor for specific advice about your individual situation.