Getting a divorce doesn’t mean that you’ll be single forever or that you need to remain single to continue receiving divorce benefits like child support. However, in Texas, you should be aware that there are certain laws and regulations about getting remarried after a divorce. You may need the advice of a family law attorney in Houston, TX to understand the legal implications of getting married after your divorce has been finalized.
Getting Married After Divorce: How Long Do You Need to Wait?
In Texas, the law says that you must wait a full 30 days after your divorce has been finalized before you can get married again. You can get married on the 31st day after your divorce without any legal consequences. Getting married before your divorce has been finalized or before this waiting period has ended can have significant consequences on your divorce decree and factors such as alimony, child support, and other financial elements.
Why Does the Waiting Period Exist?
Why does the waiting period exist? In most states, there is no waiting period after divorce, but Texas has a legal 30-day waiting period that must be observed before you can be remarried. This waiting period is intended to allow time for any challenges to the divorce decree to be filed. For example, if your ex-spouse is not happy with the judge’s ruling in the divorce decree, then they will have 30 days after the divorce has been filed in the court system to appeal any of these rulings.
If the appeal advances to court again, your divorce will still not be finalized and you will not be able to get married until after the judge has made a decision related to the appeal process. If the divorce decree is challenged and changes must be made, you may need to wait an additional 30 days after this decree is officially filed before you can get married.
Why Would a Divorce Decree Be Challenged?
There are a few reasons why you or your spouse may want to challenge a divorce decree. The most common reason to challenge your divorce decree is because of spousal support or child support. If your ex-spouse feels that the amount of spousal support they are expected to pay is unfair, they may file an appeal with their attorney to modify spousal support payments.
Can the Waiting Period Be Voided?
Sometimes, the 30-day waiting period can be voided if this stipulation is included in your divorce decree. You can request for the waiting period to be voided during your divorce negotiations if you or your ex-spouse is in a relationship and intends to be married again.
Voiding the waiting period can be an advantage for both spouses in certain circumstances. For example, you may request to have the waiting period voided if you were not married long enough to earn alimony or if you do not have any children that will require child support.
What If You Get Married Before the Waiting Period?
If you are married before your waiting period is finalized, then you may find that your new marriage is not valid. Your divorce must be final before you can legally get married again. If you get married before the waiting period is over, then you may be guilty of bigamy, which happens when you are married to two people at once. Bigamy is illegal in the United States.
What Advice Can a Family Law Attorney in Houston, TX Give You?
In addition to the waiting period, a family law attorney in Houston, TX may have additional advice to give you regarding the actions you can take during and after your divorce. During any other time of your life, your interpersonal relationships are your own business, but during a divorce, you need to be careful about certain personal activities, such as dating or moving to a new place.
Don’t Date During a Divorce
Although you may file for divorce because you are ready to start a new relationship and move on, it’s generally a good idea to avoid dating while your divorce is ongoing. If you are dating while you are filing for divorce, your dating activity may be considered adultery and could have lasting impacts on the financial results of your divorce decree. It’s a good idea to wait to start dating until your divorce has been finalized, as this will simplify all of your financial matters and the results of your divorce.
Live Alone Until the Divorce Is Finalized
Just like you should not date while you are getting a divorce, you should also not live with another person who is not your child or a family member. Living with a significant other while you are getting a divorce can also present challenges that your ex-spouse may take advantage of.
Living alone will also simplify the financial calculations related to your income and how you support any children. When additional income, such as from your new significant other, is factored into the household earnings, it can significantly lower the amount of child support you are entitled to.
Reconsider Long Distance Moves
Many people like to make long-distance moves after a divorce has been finalized, but this can be a mistake if there are minor children involved. Depending on the parental custody agreement and any sharing of parental duties for minor children, moving to a different state can make it difficult for the other parent to see their children.
Moving out of state and taking up residency in another state can also present new legal challenges for the custody of children. If you do want to move, moving to a new town is better than moving to a new state.
Be Prepared for Support Changes
If you decide to remarry after your divorce has been finalized, then you may need to prepare for certain financial changes. In general, the amount of child support you will receive each month should not change even after you remarry because your ex-spouse still needs to provide financial support for their children. However, if you have a new child, this could mean that the child support you receive can be modified because of changes in your personal circumstances.
What About Spousal Support Changes?
You may also need to prepare for the termination of any spousal support after you have remarried. This is because spousal support is intended to be a temporary payment that will provide financial support until the receiving spouse can provide for themselves. If you are remarried, your financial circumstances will change and you may not receive spousal support from your ex-spouse any longer. Much of the time, the termination of spousal support is automatic.
Although it is possible to get remarried after divorce, you will need to hold off on signing a marriage certificate or holding a ceremony until at least 30 days from the date of your divorce being finalized in court. If you want to be very cautious about your divorce decree, you may want to wait to start dating until after your divorce has been finalized. For more information about what you can and cannot do after a divorce, please contact a family law attorney Skillern Firm in Houston, TX to learn more.