Remarriage After Divorce: Legal Implications

Woman divorcing and taking off wedding bandIt’s well known that divorce has profound legal implications. How often you see any children from the marriage, your salary, and even where you live can be affected by legal proceedings surrounding your divorce.

But what about remarriage? Are there any legal implications if you remarry after a divorce?

See below for the legal implications of remarriage on key areas of divorce agreements.

Child Support

If you or a former spouse are paying child support under the legal terms of a divorce, remarriage is not likely to affect the payments. Courts usually hold that biological parents are responsible for financial support of their children. Step-parents are not.

The situation could change if the new spouse moves to become an adoptive parent, but one of the parties to the divorce would likely have to petition the court for a change.

Custody and Visitation Rights

If you have custody of or visitation rights with children from your former marriage, there is no reason for these to change upon your remarriage.

But bear in mind that marriages often involve moving or even beginning new families. If your former spouse has visitation rights on weekends and your new spouse has a job requiring that you move across the country, the former spouse’s visitation rights may be affected.

It’s a good idea to talk with your former spouse about your new plans and try to come to an amicable agreement. Both custody and visitation rights are legal rights, and your former spouse may decide to begin a court case if new arrangements do not allow them to be met.

Spousal Support

Spousal support, or alimony, is usually given today if one partner in a divorce has no means of earning a salary, is primarily responsible for child-rearing, or needs retraining for a salary. Whether spousal support stops upon remarriage or not depends very much upon the terms of the divorce decree.

Before you remarry, it’s a good idea to read over the terms of the divorce decree and perhaps consult an attorney about the current spousal support obligations you have.

Other Financial Obligations

It’s a good idea to review your financial obligations before a remarriage, so you and your spouse are on the same page. Are you, for example, committed to putting children from the former marriage through college? Have you agreed to this? That may mean a lengthy financial commitment that both new spouses need to be aware of.

Do you have other financial obligations stemming from the former marriage, such as payment into retirement funds, or payments on a house? Because these payments affect your disposal income, your new spouse may expect to know about them.

If You Need a Divorce Lawyer in New York or New Jersey

Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman is a family law firm that has represented clients in divorce since 1975. We are committed to long-lasting, fair, and reliable solutions that benefit you and your family.

Our expertise includes child custody and visitation rights, child support, alimony and spousal support, division of marital assets, post-divorce modification, parental relocation, and conservatorships.

Additional Resources:

  1. Brooks, Rodney. “Remarrying in retirement? Look before you leap.” USAToday. August 21, 2014. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/columnist/brooks/2014/05/20/retire-baby-boomer-divorce-remarry-pension/9171469/
  2. Heidelberger, Eirene. “How To Gently Talk To Your Kids About Divorce.” Huffington Post. August 23, 2018. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-to-gently-talk-to-your-kids-about-divorce_us_5b7eca66e4b03067348d99eb