Over the years, I have represented many clients who are going through a second or third divorce. My record is representing a woman for her sixth and seventh divorces. One would think that someone would learn from one or two mistakes and not repeat them, but that is not always the case. Some people never learn.
Statistics show that second marriages have a higher failure rate than first marriages. In the following blog, I will provide you with some of my thoughts on this issue.
When people marry for the first time, they have less baggage than after a divorce. Think about the fact that in a first marriage, most people are young and just starting out. There are usually no children. Most people are starry eyed and have married prince charming or the woman of their dreams. It is like the typical tale where everyone gets married and is to live happily ever after. But, sadly, life is not like that. Too often, Dr. Jekyll becomes Mr. Hyde!
Most people after a divorce are older, but are they wiser? Not necessarily. Without therapy, most people do not learn from their mistakes. People tend to pick the same type of spouse again and again. People tend to remarry abusive spouses or alcoholics. The physical package may be different, but not the psychological.
In a second marriage, people have to deal with not only their own children but also step-children. The Brady Bunch is not reality, and blending families is difficult to say the least.
Have you recovered from your first divorce? Are you still bitter? Have you given yourself time to heal? There is an old saying that “fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” Does that apply to you?
What is your financial situation? In a first marriage, people do not have a lot of assets and debts. After a divorce, you may have significant assets as well as significant debts. How will you deal with these issues in a new marriage? Do you keep money separate? Should there be a prenuptial agreement? How do you handle income and finances? These are important issues to deal with.
What about your children? Don’t rush them into a new relationship. Most children will resent sharing with new step-siblings. Most children dream of you and your former spouse getting back together. Your children are the innocent victims in a divorce, and they are not going to be happy in most new marriages. Blending a family, as I earlier mentioned, is difficult to say the least.
There are other issues that include custodial arrangements and parenting time/visitation schedules that have to be dealt with.
Where will you live? His house, hers, a new home? Often a former marital home will have a lot of memories. Sometimes it is better to start fresh, if that is economically feasible.
Support is often an issue. You may feel that your soon-to-be new spouse is receiving too little in child support. Your new spouse may feel that you are paying too much child support.
Alimony/spousal support often ends upon remarriage for the recipient but not for the one who is paying it. This can also be a source for conflict.
There can be work-related issues. Who is going to work? Is someone going to spend more time raising children? Is there enough money to go around?
Extended family can be an issue. You still have to deal with a former husband or wife. You still have to deal with those former in-laws that you could not stand. Everything gets more complicated.
Trust is important. People often lose that ability to trust after a first divorce.
Finally, it is easier to throw in the towel and admit defeat the second time around than it is the first time.
Often it is a good idea to have some counseling as you enter into a new marriage.
It is not simple, and there is a lot to think about from emotional, economic, and child-related standpoints. These are some of my thoughts. What are yours?