Many South Carolinians come out of a divorce and vow to never be married again. The process was emotionally and financially draining and often leaves people broken-hearted or generally exhausted. Though this feeling can last a while, many eventually grow out of their concerns and may decide to make another go of it. If that’s the case for you, you need to be ready for some of the concerns that arise during a second marriage and understand the legal consequences of getting hitched a second time.
The first thing you need to realize is that as soon as you remarry, any alimony payments you currently receive will end. If you’re getting older it’s important to note that you might also be giving up other forms of your ex’s money, such as Social Security benefits. Individuals who were married long enough to receive a share of their spouse’s benefits become ineligible for them if they remarry before age 60. This doesn’t mean you’re left out in the dark, as you may instead be able to collect benefits from your new spouse.
There are other legal restrictions to be aware of before remarriage, especially involving children. Specifically, your custody or visitation schedule may also be affected, as your former spouse could seek a modification. Many divorce settlement agreements contain clauses preventing parents from relocating, which may limit your ability to start a new life with a future spouse in a different location. If your agreement contains such geographic restrictions you may have to seek a modification and convince a judge that a move is in your children’s best interest.
Finally, it’s a good idea to review your estate plan, especially if it contains a section regarding who would take care of your children in the event that you die. Remarriage could change your desires and don’t want the court appointing someone listed years before you met your new spouse. Same thing goes for other sections of your estate plan; if you want assets to go to your new spouse then you must include such provisions.
Source: “Blinded by Love Again? Tips to Get Your Legal House in Order,” by Benjamin Berkley, published at HuffingtonPost.com.