It’s not uncommon for a recently-divorced individual to want to remarry again soon after a divorce is finalized. In some cases, the desire to enter into a marriage with another may be the primary motivator for divorce. In others, a recently divorced person may meet a new partner who is a better fit for who they are at that point in their life.
Whatever the reason for wanting to remarry soon after a divorce, certain considerations must be made before the divorcee can move forward.
Wait Times for Remarrying After Divorce
State law determines how long you have to wait before remarrying after a divorce. Several states impose significant wait times on marriage after divorce. For example, Nebraska requires a six-month waiting period.
Other states place shorter limitations on divorce after remarriage. Some, like Kansas, Alabama, and Massachusetts, impose waiting periods ranging from 30 to 90 days. Still others allow marriages that occur shortly after a divorce to be voided if desired.
However, many states, such as New York, have no waiting period at all. Once a divorce is finalized in New York, a divorced spouse can immediately apply for a new marriage license. It is critical to note that you cannot marry before the divorce is finalized. Any marriage before the final Judgment of Divorce is invalid and technically bigamy.
Considering the Consequences of Remarriage
Divorce can be a time-consuming process, particularly if the other spouse contests it. If you’ve ended a marriage out of a desire to remarry, it’s natural to feel eager to move forward after waiting out the divorce proceedings.
If you live in New York or another state that imposes no wait time restrictions on remarriage, there’s no legal barrier stopping you from applying for a marriage license the same day a divorce is finalized.
However, remarriage brings certain legal and financial consequences, and you should understand these before moving forward with another marriage fresh off a divorce.
Remarrying after divorce can have many financial impacts, some of which aren’t beneficial.
First, take the time to familiarize yourself with your new spouse’s financial background. This includes items like:
- Support obligations – spousal and child support obligations continue
- Debt – marital debt, as well as other debt accrued during the divorce may exist
- Assets – many divorced parties remain financially tied to their former spouse
Remarriage can leave you responsible for your new spouse’s debt and affect your ability to do things like rent an apartment or apply for a car loan. You should also be aware of other major financial issues, like if they’ve ever filed for bankruptcy.
Remarrying can also significantly change your current financial situation by absolving your former spouse’s responsibility for making alimony payments or child support payments.
If you’ve received other financial benefits from a divorce, like receiving spousal maintenance or alimony, you will likely lose such benefits once you’re remarried.
Impact on Child Custody
Most of the time, remarriage doesn’t directly impact a child custody arrangement. However, it’s important to consider elements like the child’s best interests and whether other factors, such as relocation, will eventually come into play.
A former spouse may find grounds to appeal for a modified parenting plan due to remarriage. Depending on their reasoning, a judge may alter an existing child custody arrangement. Sometimes, the entrance of a new stepparent makes the custody arrangement more beneficial or workable for the noncustodial parent, especially with new step-siblings.
A Divorce Lawyer Can Help Plan for Remarriage After Divorce
It’s always wise to consult with a divorce lawyer if you’re planning to remarry soon after a divorce. A lawyer can help you understand remarriage’s potential effects on finances and other matters. It’s best to know about these potentialities upfront rather than after a marriage is finalized.
Many, many clients who are getting remarried consider a prenuptial agreement, especially after dealing with a complicated or lengthy divorce.
To learn more about how you might be impacted by remarriage soon after divorce, contact Aiello & DiFalco to speak with an experienced divorce lawyer in Garden City, NY.