I Do Again: Legal and Financial Considerations of Remarriage

After divorce, finding someone new is a common goal – but actually tying the knot again is not.

According to SmartMoney.com, fewer than half of divorced women and slightly more than half of divorced men are remarried – and those numbers are dropping.

Marriage does offer legal and financial benefits over cohabitation, including the tax advantages of joint filing and the ability to inherit from your partner. There are obvious emotional rewards along with social, religious and moral considerations. But remarriage also brings up significant issues:

  • Are you ready to merge assets – again? Some separate property will become marital property. There may also be child rearing and educational expenses to address – as well as beneficiary and estate planning issues.
  • Are you prepared to forfeit retirement benefits available as an ex, such as Social Security or pensions, or spousal support? Any entitlement to part of a former spouse’s Social Security retirement would end if the recipient is remarried – and pension benefits may be lost as well. If you or your new partner receives permanent spousal support, it will also terminate upon remarriage. Cohabiting doesn’t automatically end spousal support in New York.
  • Can you or your partner receive employer-sponsored benefits without being married? More and more companies now extend health insurance and other benefits to cohabitating couples – so remarrying may not be necessary for coverage.
  • If you do decide to remarry, a family law attorney can help you devise a prenuptial agreement that protects your separate assets and settles important issues like inheritance. You’ll have more peace of mind – and less left to chance.

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