Marrying Someone New after Undergoing Divorce: What Are the Legal Considerations?

Posted on: 20 November 2018

After undergoing a lengthy and emotional divorce, you may have temporarily lost hope in finding a long-term partner. However, someone new may sweep into your life and all of a sudden you find yourself in a serious relationship. Making the decision to remarry is often challenging. You may be worried about what your kids will think, how your former spouse will take the news, and how marrying will affect legal aspects of your life moving forward.

Remarrying after divorce is fairly common. The key is to ensure that you do the following things before you and your partner decide to put a ring on it.

1. Make sure your former marriage has permanently ended.

In most countries, including Australia, it is illegal to marry someone else when still married to your former spouse. Many people find themselves in trouble with the law by not permanently separating from their former partner.

The Family Law Act of 1975 stipulates that you don't need to have a specific reason for divorcing your spouse. As long as the marriage is deemed irreconcilable after twelve continuous months of separation, you can file for a successful divorce. Keep in mind that you would need to wait for at least one month after your divorce application is finalised by the court before you can officially remarry.

2. Consider your responsibilities to your kids and former spouse.

Another legally relevant aspect is your responsibility towards your children and former partner. A judge may have directed you to pay alimony, to pay child support, and to fulfil other responsibilities relevant to the divorce proceedings.

Don't think that just because you're entering a new marriage, you can simply ignore these responsibilities. In fact, you may be under additional scrutiny from your former spouse and the court to meet these requirements within your new marriage.

3. Make a financial plan for your new marriage.

If you're the recipient of alimony payments, remarriage may also affect you moving forward. Your eligibility for spousal support may end in light of your new marriage arrangements. The structure of child support may also change, depending on what your new partner brings to the table.  Make sure you consult a family lawyer to discuss these arrangements if you currently receive spousal support. 

4. Figure out your living arrangements.

Are you still living in the same home as your former partner? Make sure you avoid unnecessary tension by modifying your living arrangement as necessary. You may decide to move out of the home in preparation for your new marriage. However, if you decide to stay, make sure you have clearly established boundaries with your ex-spouse. 

For more information about family law-related situations, contact a family and divorce attorney.