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I do, I do, I do! Love is riskier the 2nd - or 3rd - time around

When you are preparing to say "I do" to the one you love, there are a number of things to consider, especially if this is not the first time you have been married. A financial advice columnist considered the matter recently, and she provided some interesting statistics.

For example, a recent study revealed that just 57 percent of people getting married are doing so for the first time. Conversely, 43 percent of marriages in the Unites States are the second or third marriages. Although we all want to live happily ever after, it looks like it will be easier if you work out a few things before tying the knot, especially since 67 percent of second marriages and 74 percent of third marriages don't last and result in a divorce.

It is important for couples to discuss how they feel about children, money management and estate planning, whether it is your first, second or third marriage. It may also be wise to consider a prenuptial agreement. In the past, this sort of agreement was viewed as something just for the rich and famous. A prenuptial agreement can help protect assets, which is important if one spouse has considerably more assets than the other spouse, or if one spouse has a significant inheritance that he or she may receive in the future. Another consideration is that if you are married you have a financial obligation to pay for any care your spouse may need.

Once you have a thorough discussion, the columnist added, you may decide that you don't want to get legally married, but instead, stay single and still enjoy your loving relationship. However, if you still decide to tie the knot, you should establish an estate plan so that it is clear what will happen to any assets when one spouse passes away. By taking care of all of these discussions and legal agreements prior to tying the knot, you are much more likely to have a happy and successful marriage.

Source: CBS Boston, "Marriage, The Second Or Third Time Around," Dee Lee, Aug. 2, 2012

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