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5 Things to Know Before You Get Married After a Divorce

Michael Tierney
January 8, 2023

The institution of marriage was designed to create permanent connections between couples, albeit originally in the name of religious tradition. While almost every culture has its own views and traditions on marriage, the ultimate goal remains. Marriage is a commitment to the person you love and a pledge to stay together for as long as possible.

Solution Unfortunately, not all marriages last until the "death do you part" stage, and couples are driven to separate for one reason or another. The causes for divorce vary, including adultery, deception, or falling out of love. Regardless of the reason, when a couple divorces, it is usually because they cannot overcome a major issue in the relationship.

For some, divorce marks the end of their romantic lives, and they settle into a permanent bachelor or bachelorette lifestyle for the rest of their lives. While this can affect some people, especially in later life, others seek a new relationship after marriage. Remarriage is a common occurrence, though no less susceptible to divorce than the first. While this is a concern, few allow it to inhibit their journey for new love after divorcing their spouses.

Seeking another relationship is a perfectly understandable desire, but you must be prepared for the reality of dating after marriage.

A few tidbits are more important than others that could make or break your post-divorce romance:

#1: Termination of Spousal Support

Spousal support is one of the most infamous aspects of divorce since it legally requires one spouse to pay the other a monthly sum. While some divorce agreements waive spousal support, most maintain the significance of spousal support and enforce it accordingly. Spousal support has a specialized calculation method that ensures the spouse responsible for paying the support is not beggared by the sum they pay every month.

Nevertheless, spousal support generates a noticeable gap in the paying spouse's savings and income. Typically, the spouse with the higher income is responsible for paying support to maintain their ex-spouse's quality of life after the divorce is finalized.

Spousal Support Payment

While spousal support is a long-lived process, one event can end the payments prematurely. When the spouse receiving the payments remarries, the new spouse usually produces an additional income stream. This additional income means their new spouse can contribute to their quality of life. Because of these newfound funds, it is considered unfair for the paying spouse to continue paying for their ex's quality of life.

Solution Therefore, spousal support agreements automatically terminate once the ex-spouse's new marriage is finalized. This is something to be aware of when you plan to remarry after your divorce.

If you are the spouse receiving support payments, you cannot continue relying on those payments once your marriage is finalized. Factoring spousal support into future expenses past your wedding date will leave you in an awkward position since that money will not be there. This does not mean you should forgo or postpone marrying your new partner if you genuinely want to be with them. It only means you must account for the financial discrepancy of no longer having the support payments to help finance your lifestyle.

#2: There Might Be a Waiting Period

While you might be eager to begin your life with your new spouse immediately, you might have to temper your excitement. Divorce is a complex legal process that effectively neutralizes your legal bond to your ex-spouse. This can lead to legal and clerical hiccups that take time to process. Immediately going through another legal process that changes your marital status increases the risk of clerical errors or legal mishaps.

Solution Therefore, some states have instituted a mandatory waiting period after the divorce is finalized before you can remarry.

The good news is that these waiting periods are rare, and only a handful of states mandate them.

A Legal Waiting Period

These states, and the associated waiting periods, are as follows:

  • Alabama: The waiting period in Alabama is 60 days.
  • Washington D.C.: The waiting period in Washington D.C. is 30 days.
  • Kansas: The waiting period in Kansas is 30 days.
  • Massachusetts: The waiting period in Massachusetts is 90 days.
  • Nebraska: The waiting period in Nebraska is 6 months.
  • Oklahoma: The waiting period in Oklahoma is 6 months.
  • Rhode Island: The waiting period in Rhode Island is 3 months.
  • Texas: The waiting period in Texas is 30 days.
  • Wisconsin: The waiting period in Wisconsin is 6 months.

You must consider the waiting period before making new wedding plans if you live in any of these states and have just gone through your divorce. While it is unlikely you will be in a position to get engaged so soon after your divorce, it is worth noting this information. Fortunately, this waiting period can be a blessing since it prevents people in those states from rushing into a new marriage too quickly after the last.

#3: It Affects Your Children

Most marriages involve children since that is one of the biggest steps couples take after marriage. Raising children is an extremely rewarding experience and one of the most important things we can do with our lives. Child custody is one of the hot-button topics of divorce negotiations, but that is where most people believe their involvement ends.

While the divorce process and subsequent custody and visitation arrangements impact their lives, another thing affects them. Many fail to realize that children hold onto a sliver of hope that their parents will reconcile and that they can be a family again. Barring one parent being abusive, your children will root for you and your ex-spouse to get back together.

While this is an endearing stance for children to take, it can backfire when you start dating again after the divorce. Children can resent their parent's new partner since they will view this new person as an interloper trying to replace the parent you divorced. This feeling is amplified when the parent begins dating before the divorce is over, which is a highly inadvisable course of action.

Child Affected By Divorce

This situation is extremely delicate, and you must treat it as such unless you want to alienate your child or destroy their potential relationship with their future stepparent. To avoid these issues, you must take things slow and let your children develop a relationship with your new partner at a reasonable pace.

Let them interact with your partner one-on-one, but only if you are serious about keeping your new partner in your life long-term. If the person you are seeing is a fling or a short-term relationship and your children meet them, it can further complicate things. Introducing someone your children might perceive as a potential stepparent and then having that person walk out of their lives could emotionally harm them.

#4: Second Marriages Have Higher Divorce Rates

Remarriage is a more common occurrence than people realize, especially with men. Nearly 80% of people remarry after divorce, meaning most people end up with another spouse after their first ends. While this might be an encouraging statistic for most, it has a less positive flipside. Second marriages are more likely to end in divorce than your first, meaning you risk enduring another divorce after the original.

Currently, approximately 50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce, which is not the most promising statistic. This statistic increases by 10% for second marriages, so 60% of remarried couples end up divorced. We realize this is likely not what you want to hear, but it is important information if remarriage is in your future.

A Second Marriage Ending in Divorce

One of the main reasons second marriages fail is due to the baggage leftover from the first marriage. When we enter into a new relationship after a previous one ended poorly, it is common for us to try and preemptively address the issues that ended the original marriage. This could make you defensive or overprotective around your new spouse if you constantly argued in your last marriage. If your first spouse cheated on you, you might develop trust issues and become overbearing to ensure your new spouse is not cheating as well. Essentially, the issues from your initial marriage can bleed into your new one if you do not get the help you need to overcome your issues.

There are other causes for divorce in second marriages, but none are as unique since every marriage is susceptible to the same issues. The risk factors that might have impacted your original marriage will persist for your second, and you must be vigilant to ensure they do not.

#5: You Can Write a Pre-Nuptial Agreement

As pessimistic as this might sound, the likelihood of your second marriage ending in divorce is higher than those of your previous marriage. Combined with any lingering issues, the chances of the marriage lasting can be less than you might prefer. This increased divorce rate in subsequent marriages might make you fear the chance of another divorce, and this fear can be debilitating. Going through one divorce is emotionally and financially challenging, thanks to the attorney costs and cutthroat negotiations you have to endure.

The biggest part of a divorce, aside from legally dissolving your marriage, is asset division and support arrangements. This usually involves a lot of back and forth with your ex-spouse's attorneys and compromise on topics where you feel your ex cheated you somehow. There is also a lot of anger that can arise from the divorce negotiations that causes conflict in the process.

Writing a Pre-Nuptial Agreement

Divorce leads to stress and frustration that can emotionally and psychologically tax you. Fortunately, civil unions allow the people involved to draft a specialized contract to protect their interests should the union end. In marriage, this is called a "pre-nuptial" agreement, meaning before marriage. While the legality of pre-nuptial agreements, also called prenups, varies worldwide, they are universally accepted in the United States. Drafting a prenup allows you and your spouse to determine important divorce details before you get married. This means you can ensure you walk away with your belongings and even waive spousal support obligations before divorce is ever considered.

While you might find it callous, drafting a prenup can be very beneficial when entering the 2nd marriage. It will let you cover all the bases that took you by surprise during your divorce and ensure that the potential divorce you might go through with your new spouse is resolved smoothly. This is not to say that divorce is inevitable in your 2nd marriage, but that the potential exists at a higher rate than in initial unions. Drafting a prenup will serve as an additional layer of protection against divorce proceedings.

Learn the Law

Divorce is a deeply unpleasant process and can cause a significant amount of stress, anxiety, and depression. Going through one is difficult enough, and the prospect of going through another is worse since the memories of the original will be fairly fresh. While your 2nd marriage is not guaranteed to end in divorce, you must take care when entering a new relationship. If you rush headlong into a 2nd or 3rd marriage, it is more likely to fail since you did not take the time to recover from your last relationship.

We are not emotionally equipped to jump from one emotional commitment to another, which is why most people take significant breaks between relationships. By listening to these tips, you will be in a better position to avoid divorce than you would otherwise.

Learning the Law

Unfortunately, protecting your interests in a second marriage is only one part of civil unions and divorce. Civil law is extremely complicated and convoluted, making it difficult for the average person to navigate successfully; even when you get one issue figured out, several more pop up to take its place and complicate the process. Your best bet to survive the world of divorce is to learn more about the scenarios and regulations that affect divorce and its associated negotiations. This information is readily available from divorce attorneys, but those interested in self-education can access it thanks to modern technology. We realize this is a difficult time for you, and we hope this article was helpful.

If you have any further questions about the divorce process or if you're seeking further information, we highly recommend checking out our collection of articles aimed at helping you get through it. Our catalog covers a vast number of topics relating to the divorce process, and you're bound to find an article that can assist you with your situation.

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Written By:
Michael Tierney

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