Nobody gets married anticipating the possibility of divorce. This remains true in a second, third or subsequent marriage. Nonetheless, divorce is even more common following remarriage than it is for a first marriage. Perhaps, after getting divorced once and realizing that it is possible to survive the process, people have an easier time recognizing divorce as a valid option a second time.
A question that often comes up for remarried people considering a divorce is, “Will ending my marriage be easier the second time around?”
Ways A Second Divorce May Be Easier
You know what’s coming, more or less. You’ve been through it. You understand the back and forth. You know what worked, and you know the things that can trigger escalation. You have a better feel for the law such as how courts decide how assets will be divided. Last time, you might have tried one method and did not like the process, so this time you may be interested in considering another method.
Perhaps, having already experienced a divorce, you were more prepared for the possibility when you remarried. Your financials are in order. You’ve thought ahead about what you truly want and what you can let go of. Maybe you even worked with your spouse to create a prenuptial agreement that outlined exactly how you both want your marriage to conclude.
You also know what you want in an attorney. You know your preferred communication style and what you would like the attorney-client relationship to look like. You know what strengths you want your attorney to demonstrate, and the weaknesses you don’t want to see. Perhaps that means resetting expectations with your previous attorney, or choosing a new one altogether.
Most important, you know you can survive. You’ve done it once; you can do it again.
Ways A Second Divorce May Be More Difficult
Those approaching a second divorce often encounter complications from lingering financial and familial commitments from the previous marriage and divorce, along with new issues to deal with along the way.
Many people considering a second divorce find that they have accumulated more assets since they were first married. Perhaps you started a business or added properties to your real estate portfolio. Perhaps you were promoted at your job and now receive a bonus, stock options or restricted stock awards, or simply a larger salary. Whatever the case may be, the reality is that more assets – particularly more unique assets like investment property and variable compensation – can add new layers of complexity.
You are closer to retirement than you were before, or you are further into your retirement. Either way, it is more imperative that you protect yourself financially so you do not have to push your retirement back, return to work or make lifestyle cuts you would prefer to avoid. Keep in mind that, even if you are committed to sharing a piece of your retirement assets with your first ex, you may still have to provide a portion to the new ex.
Your family is bigger. Do you have a child from your previous marriage? Maybe even grandchildren? How about from your current marriage? You may have to balance a variety of child custody and support considerations. Then there is also the question of alimony – will you have to continue paying it to your previous spouse while also paying it to the spouse you are preparing to divorce? There are more factors that you will need to balance and more decisions that will need to be made. You want to make certain you have a lawyer who is well-versed in these matters and can help you untangle every unique thread.