Legal Steps To Take Before Remarrying

Marriage is and should mostly be about love. However, love is one of the biggest things that can cloud your rational judgment. For that reason, it's important to make sure that you are properly and legally protected before entering into a marriage. This is especially true if you are remarrying after a previous divorce. Here's what you should do.

Check Your Divorce Records

Many people who thought they were divorced find out that they weren't when they apply for a new marriage license or after years into their new marriage. This could delay your wedding, invalidate your marriage, and even subject you to allegations of bigamy and fraud.

Many people forget to file the proper paperwork, don't realize they need to go back to court one last time, or just have their records lost by an incompetent court clerk or overworked attorney. Don't let it happen to you.

When planning your wedding, ask a divorce lawyer exactly what documents should be on record if a divorce is final. Then, go to the clerk of the court where you were divorced and make sure those records are on file.

Find Out What Will Happen to the Previous Divorce Settlement

If your previous divorce order had child support, spousal support, or other ongoing obligations, they are likely subject to change when you remarry. Talk to your lawyer about whether those payments will continue and whether the amounts will be changed.

In any case, you must report your new marriage to the court overseeing the divorce order. If you don't and continue to receive payments, it could be considered fraud.

Get a Prenuptial Agreement

Many marriages fail, and second and third marriages fail at an even higher rate than first marriages. This alone should convince you to get a prenuptial agreement.

However, like with a first marriage, you aren't just planning for failure with a prenuptial. The process of creating the agreement can make sure you are on the same page as your spouse with regards to finances.

This is especially important when you're remarrying later in life and have significant savings.

Don't Forget Your Estate Planning

Estate planning can get messy in complex family situations, and this is especially true with a remarriage. Also ask your attorney what documents you will need to update to reflect your new life arrangements.

To learn more about the legal steps you should take before remarrying, talk to a local family law attorney, such as those at Margit M. Hicks, PA Attorney at Law, today.