Each year, hundreds of thousands of Americans get divorced. While the divorce rate is lower than it was a few decades ago, divorce is still common throughout the country. Despite, people seem hesitant to give up on finding love and marital bliss, even if their first marriage fails. In fact, a recent study found that a full 40 percent of marriages today include at least one person who has been married before. In about half of those marriages, both spouses are on their second, third, or subsequent marriage. It is estimated that about 60 percent of divorced or widowed Americans will eventually remarry.
Such numbers certainly seem to portray a level of optimism regarding how we approach marriage as a society. If you are considering getting married again after a divorce, however, there are some things you need to keep in mind, including:
- Termination of spousal support: If you currently receive maintenance payments—also called alimony or spousal support—from your ex under the terms of your divorce settlement, getting remarried will almost certainly put an end to those payments. Under Illinois law, you moving in with your fiancé could be enough to terminate your ex’s maintenance obligation;
- Parental responsibilities and parenting time: Your remarriage does not guarantee a change in your responsibilities regarding your children. However, parenting time schedules and other concerns related to child custody are based on the circumstances of each family. A remarriage could definitely change your circumstances, so modifications to your parenting plan could be necessary;
- Child support payments: In most cases, getting remarried will not affect your child support obligations or your eligibility to continue receiving child support. The child’s parents are still responsible for supporting the child, regardless of the existence of new spouses. If, however, you decide to change jobs or stop working due to your new marriage, or if you have a child with your new spouse, those factors could affect child support; and
- Inheritance rights: Do you have family heirlooms or important possessions that you want your children to receive when you die? If you do not formalize your wishes in a prenuptial agreement, it could be your new spouse who receives the property intended for your children.
As the old adage says, there are exceptions to almost every rule, so the considerations mentioned above should serve as a reminder of things to be aware of rather than advice for your unique situation.