Considering Remarriage? Important Things to Consider


April 10, 2018

remarriage

You’ve finally found the love of your life. You are happy and confident in your relationship, but one or both of you have gone through a divorce. What does that mean for you moving forward to marriage?

Remarrying after divorce can be tricky. The main factors you’ll want to consider are how it will affect your children and how it may impact your assets.

Consider Your Assets

Your assets are important. Both you and your significant other have worked hard for what you each possess, and your kids have expectations regarding those assets as well. Consider talking to a family lawyer about creating a prenuptial agreement addressing those assets. This agreement determines the division of your assets in case of divorce or death and should help your children feel confident in their inheritance. [1]

Child support is another aspect that will be important to consider if either one of you are still providing for children. Often, you will not be able to get child support modified due to remarriage, but it is important to consult a family lawyer about your new marriage, especially if you’re bringing on new dependents. Courts may modify child support, but only if you are seeing a significant change in circumstances. [2]

Keep in mind, in Maryland, you and your ex-spouse have 30 days to appeal a divorce decision. [2] It is advisable to wait at least this long before remarrying. On top of that, make sure you are aware of what agreements you and your ex-spouse may have made during the divorce process. Some divorce decrees may include provisions on what happens in the event of remarriage, which could take the form of you no longer receiving spousal support. [3]

Consider Your Kids

If you have children, the idea of you remarrying could bring out a variety of feelings. Your children may be excited, confused, upset, or even angry. All of these responses are normal, and any one child can experience multiple responses to your impending remarriage.

Taking things slow is important for helping your children adjust to the idea of a new person in their lives. Ideally, your children have become well-acquainted with your future spouse, and he is part of their daily lives. If he is not, begin that introduction and integration process now, and consider moving back your wedding date to give your children ample time to adjust before your marriage. [4]

Talk openly to your children about their feelings, with the help of a counselor or other qualified professional if necessary. The more your child knows she can tell you how conflicted or sad she’s feeling about your remarriage, the better your transition is likely to be in the long run. [4]

Children may not always express their feelings in a forward manner, so you will have to keep your eyes and ears to the ground for any out-of-character behavior. Young children can make their feelings of uncertainty or anger known by increased tantrums, heightened emotional sensitivity, or changes in sleeping patterns. Teens and older children may focus become withdrawn or sullen, or may fixate on strange details, such as where a specific piece of furniture will be placed once your new spouse moves in. Again, these are all normal reactions. Just be a calm listening ear and allow your child to express any concerns. If her concerns center around something over which you have control, such as the layout of furniture, allow your child to be involved in the decision-making process. This can give her a sense of agency at a time when she may feel everything is out of her control. [4]

Your child also may express anger and sadness that you are marrying someone who is not their other parent. It may bring about further questions about your prior divorce. Answer questions as honestly as you can, without placing blame or bad-mouthing your ex, and reassure your child that she is loved no matter what, and your new spouse is just another person to love her. [4]

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[1] Brown, Tania. “What You Should Know Before Remarrying,” Forbes.com.
[2] “Legal Rights in Marriage & Divorce in Maryland, Third Edition,” The Women’s Law Center of Maryland, Inc.
[3] “Remarriage After Divorce and Kids,” Our Family Wizard.
[4] “Telling Kids about Remarriage,” Wevorce.com.