Changes you can expect when you remarry after a divorce
Although it may be hard to imagine immediately after a divorce, many people who divorce do eventually remarry. You may have legal factors to consider when planning a second or third marriage that you did not face in your first marriage. Many of these issues center around children and/or financial support.
Both parents are always required to financially support their children. Whether you pay or receive child support, a new marriage should have little impact on the child support, but the support calculation could change if you change the custody arrangement. A court will not lower your payments, however, if you decide to adopt or have more children with your new spouse. Your new spouse’s income will most likely not affect the child support calculation unless you voluntarily stop working to rely on your new spouse’s income.
Unlike child support, a new marriage can have a drastic effect on alimony. If the ex-spouse receiving alimony remarries, alimony ends immediately. If that ex-spouse only moves in with a new partner, the paying ex-spouse can seek an adjustment to the payments.
A new marriage does not automatically mean any change to child custody arrangements, but practical concerns may raise the issue. For example, the new marriage may require a move out of town or out of state. In that situation, you may need to modify the original custody agreement. In rare circumstances, the new stepparent may wish to adopt the child, but that will only happen if the other biological parent’s rights have been terminated or relinquished.
Having been through the stress of a divorce may be enough to encourage you to consider a prenuptial agreement for your next marriage. In addition to being a useful tool in a divorce, these documents can help couples lay out financial ground rules at the beginning of their marriage to prevent problems and misunderstandings. Prenups will also help to protect your own children’s interests as part of your estate plan.