Arons & Solomon | January 10, 2022 | Divorce
Sometimes, after a divorce has been finalized, former spouses realize that they want to try marriage again. Although this isn’t a typical outcome after a divorce, it’s more common than you might think.
Spouses who are considering reunification have some serious matters to consider, especially before making the choice to remarry.
Think About the Big Picture
When two former spouses consider getting back together, there are some steps they can take to maximize the success of the relationship. This will help them to avoid further time and money spent on a second divorce.
Consider the Reasons for the Divorce
Former spouses who are considering remarriage should think about the factors that led to their initial divorce. If the contributing factors haven’t changed, a second marriage has a high chance of resulting in the same outcome.
If the factors have changed significantly, both spouses should explore whether they believe there’s a likelihood of lasting reconciliation.
Know the Legal Consequences
Reuniting with a former spouse is often an emotional decision. Before filling out a new marriage license, former spouses should pause to educate themselves on the lasting legal consequences that remarriage could have.
When a divorce agreement is finalized, a huge number of legal issues are resolved. Your divorce agreement likely settled issues like:
- Child custody
- Child support payments
- Alimony payments
- Division of assets and property
- Pet ownership
- Health and life insurance
- Retirement planning
- Debt distribution
- Inheritance rights
When you remarry a former spouse and have a marital dissolution agreement, you don’t start with a blank slate. Some of the agreements stay in place even after remarriage. Others change – and that change can come with significant consequences if a second divorce occurs.
Some Divorce Agreements Remain in Place
Every marriage looks different, which means the specifics of a divorce agreement will also vary. For example, it’s common in divorce proceedings to waive inheritance rights. This means that if your former spouse receives an inheritance, you are no longer entitled to receive a portion of it.
When two former spouses remarry, inheritance rights are not automatically reinstated. There’s a separate legal process you’ll need to undergo to have inheritance rights reapplied after a second marriage to the same spouse.
Big Changes in Custody and Alimony
Custody, child support, and alimony are three of the most important issues determined by a divorce agreement. They’re also the most contentious. After all, they are the most common reasons why divorcing couples end up in court rather than reaching a mutually agreed-upon settlement outside of the courtroom.
When children are involved, remarriage to a former spouse leads to big changes that can’t be undone. Any pre-existing custody agreements are dissolved when spouses remarry and move back in together.
If a second divorce happens, the previous child custody agreement is not typically considered. Instead, if the parents cannot agree on a new custody division, a judge will give weight to the current division of parenting responsibilities.
Child support and alimony payments can come with even bigger consequences. When former spouses remarry and join households, the obligation to make support payments is lifted. If the second marriage lasts, this may not be a problem.
However, if the second marriage also ends, new child support and alimony obligations will be arranged. As with custody, new payments will not consider the previous agreement but instead will be determined by the financial obligations as they exist under the second marriage.
This can have some serious financial consequences, as a spouse accustomed to a certain financial contribution can find themselves left with a much smaller amount of support money after a short second marriage.
The Decision to Get Back Together with a Former Spouse
Marriage is a big decision – and a second marriage to a former spouse is an even bigger one. Start by speaking with your divorce attorney. Understanding the potential long-term consequences for issues like finances and child custody will help you make informed decisions for long-term success.
Contact the Bergen County Family and Divorce Law Firm of Arons & Solomon Divorce Lawyers for more help
Contact the experienced family attorneys at Arons & Solomon Divorce Lawyers today for legal assistance. Visit our law office in Bergen County or give us a call at (201) 487-1199 to schedule an appointment. to schedule a free consultation with our team.