Getting divorced is very traumatic and stressful on all of the parties involved in the process. Many people are unprepared for the emotional roller coaster they’re going to experience, dealing with the legal system, and having to make a lot of life-changing decisions.
If you’re unfortunate to have to go through a second divorce, it’s important that you understand the differences between this one and your first divorce. Think about what you could have done differently the first time around and use that knowledge and experience to your advantage.
Because second marriages often occur later in life, you and your current spouse may have accumulated more financial assets or have a more complicated financial situation due to factors such as spousal and child support obligations from a previous marriage.
With more complex financial issues at stake, you want to do things that will protect you, legally as well as financially, when going through a second divorce. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to hire an attorney that is experienced in handling divorce cases and family law so that he or she can guide and advise you as you navigate the legal process.
Things You Need to Consider
There are a number of legal considerations that you need to be aware of that are specific to ending a second marriage. The first, and perhaps the most important, is your retirement account. If you had started saving for retirement during your first marriage, think about how the distribution of that account was resolved. If you were required to split your retirement plan with your first spouse, it’s going to be very important to protect the assets that you’ve accumulated in your current marriage.
Are you the owner of a business? Did you own that business during your first marriage? If so, you’ll need to consider what percentage, if any, was awarded to your first spouse when determining what happens in your current divorce.
Are you carrying a significant amount of debt from your first marriage? If so, how much debt can you realistically afford to assume, taking any alimony or child support obligations into consideration? How will assuming this debt affect your credit, and what kind of impact could it have down the road?
When it comes to financial support, if you’re the primary wage earner, you may end up paying alimony to both of your former spouses. However, your outstanding spousal support obligation is taken into consideration when determining your “ability to pay” in your current divorce. Any pre-existing child support obligations are also taken into consideration when determining support obligations for any children you have from your second marriage.
If you have children from your second marriage plus you have custody or visitation of children from your first marriage, your existing parental rights and responsibilities will play a role in determining what’s in the best interest of your younger children.
While divorce is never easy, second divorces are full of complications that could go well beyond what you experienced during your first one. At Buncher Family Law, Orange County divorce and family law attorneys located in Irvine, we’ll work with you to develop clear solutions to complex problems that can result from a second marriage ending in divorce.