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Dealing with finances when blending two families together

After going through a divorce, some Virginia parents decide to remarry later in life. When both future spouses have children from their earlier marriages, they join to create what is called a "blended family." While blended families can work, they often have their own set of unique financial challenges due to a variety of factors.

Before two parents get married, they should have a discussion about how they will deal with their unique set of financial circumstances. For example, parents should determine what type of example they want to set for their children. They should also hammer out their spending habits by deciding how they want to spend their extra money. Talking about savings before the marriage can also help avoid any arguments that may come up in the future.

Some children have different financial needs and require more resources. Parents should be able to fully disclose those needs and how they affect family finances. Discussions should include talking about college and how costs will be split for extra-curricular activities and other expenses. It should also be noted that, as the children get older, finances and needs may change. As such, parents should continue to keep the dialogue open and make adjustments to the financial plan as needed.

One way to protect kids when a parent remarries is to create a prenuptial agreement. This agreement, which is drawn up before the parent gets remarried, can help keep financial assets and other property the parent had prior to the new marriage separate so that he or she maintains control of it if the marriage fails. A family law attorney may advocate for a parent and his or her children when drawing up the prenuptial agreement or negotiating the terms with the other party.

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