GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV)- More than a few women swear they will never marry again after going through a divorce, but end up happily remarried several years later. Whether or not you set out to find true love and a second chance at marital bliss there are things to consider before making the leap for the second time.Women often have anxiety about whether they will be attracted to the same type of mate and repeat the same mistakes. There are things you can do to improve the odds of having your happy ever after this time and even some things to consider before you decide to marry again at all.
What to know about finances
If you were awarded Spousal Support in your judgment of divorce you will want to get the final divorce papers out and read them again. Often, Spousal Support will be terminated if and when you remarry. It may also terminate when you reach a certain age or a certain length of time from the final decree of divorce. Those should all enter into your decision to remarry. Can you afford to lose the support? If it terminates within a year or two it may be to your advantage to wait before you marry again until that time is up.
Discuss both your financial histories with complete openness and honesty. If you find one of you does not have a great credit history it is best to know it beforehand because you can keep credit cards of your own and keep your good credit while the other person works on improving their credit history. Bringing debt to a new marriage should not come as a surprise to the other spouse. If you have tons of student loans you are repaying, or visa-versa, you both have a right to know because it will affect your financial health.
Reflect & learn from past relationships
Do not rush to get remarried. Statistics show that if you remarry within the first year after your divorce your chances of it lasting are slim. Ask yourself why you want to marry. Women often remarry due to financial reasons. It is a fact that women live below the poverty level more often than men do after a divorce. It is much easier to live on two incomes then it is to live on one, but you want to give yourself at least a year ( or two or three) to get to know who you are as a single woman and to do the work that is necessary to come to terms with your failed marriage.
A mistake is a great learning tool. Reflecting on the reasons that your marriage failed and how you contributed to its’ demise is important. If you can recognize how you contributed to your eventual divorce you can strategize on how you are going to avoid those same mistakes in future relationships. Do you have a tendency to pick men who need saving? Do you need to learn new communication skills to keep your relationship on a loving, adult level? Did your lack of money management contribute to ending your marriage? (This is a big one as money issues are one of the leading reasons for divorce.) You may be able to figure out your roll and how to keep from repeating it, but getting a good therapist to work through some of your issues will really help you learn how to avoid the same mistakes and will also help you heal from the trauma of divorce.
Many couples who marry for the second time are older, have successful careers and large assets. If this is the case you want to consider how and if you will blend those assets upon marriage. prenuptials are an option if the assets you are bringing to the marriage are substantial. If you have children from a prior marriage and you want to ensure that your assets will go to them upon your death you may want to consider setting up a trust fund for their benefit. Seeing an Estate Planning attorney is wise if you fall into this category.
Pitfalls to keep in mind
There are pitfalls to second marriages that you want to be aware of. Blending families with children tends to bring issues into second marriages that can lead to disaster. You want to make sure you are in total agreement on discipline of the children and who does and does not have the right to discipline the other’s child. Parenting styles, house rules, and behavior expectations all need to be talked through. Issues with former spouses, particularly if it is a contentious relationship, can bring added stress to a new marriage so be aware and discuss all the variables and concerns beforehand. Visitation schedules and hostile ex’s need to be openly planned for. One in four second-marriages end within five years, but having children from previous marriages in the blend increases that chance for divorce by 15% (55 Surprising Divorce Statistics for Second Marriages, www.healthresearchfunding.org)
You can improve the odds of a second marriage being your happy ever after, but you want to do it smart. Knowledge is power and a divorce is a great learning tool if you take advantage of what it can teach you.
Nothing here in constitutes a legal advice.