10 Things You Will Want to Know Before Remarrying

Once you have experienced a first marriage that didn’t work out as expected, facing the prospect of remarriage can be daunting. However, it can also be an exciting adventure and an opportunity to start again and get it right this time.

To help you gain some understanding and perspective before you take the next step, here are 10 helpful and informative things to know about remarriage.

  1. The Chances Are High That You’ll Remarry.

    While your first thought after a divorce might be “never again,” US Census data suggests that 13% of men and 14% of women have been married twice, and 4% of Americans have married three or more times.

  2. Your State Might Require That You Wait.

    While most states do not have any timeline restrictions on getting remarried, a few enforce a waiting period for remarriage. If you live in one of those states, you may have to wait several months after your divorce is finalized.

    States with waiting periods include:

    • Alabama: 60-day wait for third remarriage. No waiting period when remarrying a previous spouse
    • District of Columbia: 30-day wait
    • Kansas: 30-day wait without a court waiver
    • Massachusetts: 90-day wait
    • Nebraska: 6-month wait
    • Oklahoma: 6-month wait
    • Rhode Island: 3-month wait
    • Texas: 30-day wait without a court waiver
    • Wisconsin: 6-month wait
  3. A Waiting Period Can Be a Good Thing.

    Don’t rush it. Getting to know yourself and your new partner better will ensure fewer problems in the future. Invest some time to identify the issues that were problematic in your last marriage. Take time to heal and understand your own relationship needs and expectations. Prior planning makes the journey more intentional and more predictably satisfying and fun.

  4. Legal Guidance Is Highly Recommended Before Remarrying.

    Some divorce agreements include provisions that affect remarriage, so you and your new fiancé need to explore those potential legal matters. Issues that can affect your second marriage include alimony, child support, custody, and inheritance provisions that may dictate how your estate is distributed to your heirs.

    There are also more than a million same-sex couples in the USA. If that includes you, be aware that some states enforce restrictions on same-sex couples regarding marriage, taxation, inheritance, and other vital matters. All of these and many other topics are great reasons to take advantage of expert legal advice when considering remarriage.

  5. Therapy Can Ensure a Successful Next Marriage.

    Roughly 15% of second marriages end within three years, and 25% are over within five years. A relationship therapist can significantly prepare you for remarriage so you don’t become one of those tragic statistics. They can give you tools and insights to enhance communication, healthily manage conflict, and reinforce trust, respect, and cooperation in a marriage. Therapy can be one of the biggest factors in lowering the remarriage divorce rate.

  6. Make Plans With the Needs of Your Children in Mind.

    Children need adequate time to heal after their parents split up, and they need time and help to understand why you want to remarry. They want reassurance that the problems in your last marriage weren’t their fault – a common misconception kids have. They also want to know that important relationships with their parents aren't in jeopardy if you remarry or take on the role of a stepparent to new siblings. Make their needs a priority and plan accordingly to help ensure a successful remarriage.

  7. Talk About Finances and Get a Prenup This Time.

    Financial worries are a leading cause of marital discord and divorce. Money can be a sensitive topic to address, but having clear communication around finances is essential. A prenuptial contract can help you navigate that process, and reach understandings based on mutual agreement that can help eliminate future disagreements that often destroy marriages.

  8. Find Stability in Your Life to Avoid Instability in Remarriage.

    Certain lifestyles and lifestyle factors can increase the chances of divorce. You may need help cleaning up your credit, finding financial stability, and working on any emotional and psychological challenges that are causing an imbalance in your life.

    A 2023 article in Forbes reported that infidelity, domestic violence, and substance abuse are among the most devastating issues that lead to divorce. If you have problems with cheating, anger, or substance abuse, fantastic help is available. Take full advantage of it to resolve issues so you can find peace and happiness. You don’t want them to rear their ugly head in your next marriage.

  9. Find Common Ground on the Important Things.

    Nobody is your mirror image; most of us would not want that in a partner. After all, opposites attract. But maybe in your first marriage, you compromised on some issues that contributed to the failure of your marriage.

    This time, seek a partner whose values, goals, interests, and habits align with yours. For example, studies suggest that second divorces are significantly more common if only one partner smokes. In most marriages, lifestyle compatibility is vital regardless of behaviors or personal values.

  10. Fully Commit to a Sustainable Partnership.

    Remarriage isn’t a one-time event followed by a honeymoon – it’s an ongoing process. It can be a wonderful lifelong process if you are ready to fully devote yourself to making it work. Many experts on marriage – and much of the research into why marriages and remarriages succeed or fail – conclude that commitment is the most important element. The great news is that it is also an element fully under your control.


Naomi Schanfield

Naomi Schanfield concentrates on all aspects of matrimonial and family law, including, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, divorce, equitable distribution, child custody and visitation, support matters, family offense disputes, and domestic violence.

To connect with Naomi: 212.682.6222 | Online

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