Family Law


Many people marry more than once. If you are planning on remarrying, you should be aware of certain related issues that may arise. There may be past obligations, such as child support and alimony, which could affect your relationship with your new spouse. There are also certain requirements that you may need to be aware of, such as a waiting period and proof of termination of prior marriages.

Financial Obligations

A previous marriage may have left you or your future spouse with alimony, child support or other financial obligations. This could strain your finances and your relationship. You and your future spouse should discuss these obligations before you get married.

If you or you future spouse are already paying spousal support to a former spouse, there is a possibility that it may increase as a result of your second marriage. This is because one factor in deciding spousal support is the ability to pay. When you remarry your household may have additional income so your ability to pay may increase.

Waiting Periods

Some states have waiting periods for remarriage after a divorce. Those states that have remarriage waiting periods calculate the waiting period from the day the judge hands down your divorce decree. To find out if your state has such a waiting period, contact the clerk of the circuit court in the county and state where the divorce was granted. This waiting period will apply even if you plan on remarrying in another state.

Many states have a waiting period between the time a marriage license is issued and the time of the marriage ceremony. If there is a waiting period, it is generally from one to five days. The purpose of this type of waiting period is to give a short time to cool off during which the parties can change their minds if they wish.

Proof of Termination of Prior Marriage

You will need proof of the termination of any prior marriages by death, divorce or annulment.

Modifying Documents

When planning to remarry, it's a good idea to review your will, insurance policies, investments, and any retirement savings plans you may have. You may want to consider modifying beneficiary designations.

Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

If you have previously been married, you may want to consider executing marital agreements, especially if you have significant assets or children from a previous relationship. These agreements state what will happen if you and your new spouse ever separate or divorce.

Void Marriage

A marriage is considered void if one or both spouses were not unmarried at the time of marriage. A void marriage is one that is invalid from its beginning. It is as though the marriage never existed and it requires no formality to terminate.

Questions for Your Attorney

  • How can I find out if my spouse-to-be was ever married before?
  • Is proof of divorce required before I can get a license to remarry?
  • Is there a waiting period after a divorce before someone can get remarried?
Have a family law question?
Get answers from local attorneys.
It's free and easy.
Ask a Lawyer

Get Professional Help

Find a Family Law lawyer
Practice Area:
Zip Code:
How It Works
  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Connect with local attorneys

Talk to a Family Lawyer.

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you