When a marriage is over, and a couple has decided to divorce, the relationship is likely already over in their minds, making divorce a formality to some people. Whether you met someone new during the divorce process or someone else was the reason for the divorce, you may wonder if there’s a certain amount of time that you have to wait to remarry after a divorce in California.
Even if remarrying may not be on your radar when you decide to get divorced, you may find someone that makes you want to marry sometime in the future. This article will explain the divorce process in California, the conditions that must be met before you can remarry in California, and the effects of getting remarried on your divorce settlement.
An Overview of the Divorce Process in California
It typically takes about six months to finalize a divorce, although it could take longer, depending on your situation. There are four main steps in the divorce process in California.
- Start the Divorce — The first step is for one spouse to file divorce papers and officially notify the other. After the other spouse has been notified, they have 30 days to respond.
- Share Financial Information — Next, both spouses must share their financial information. You will use this information to divide assets and debts equally and decide on spousal and child support. This information doesn’t have to be filed with the court. You only have to share it with your spouse, then file a form letting the courts know this step has been completed.
- Divide Assets and Debts — You and your spouse can work together to agree on dividing assets and debts. If you can’t agree, the court will make this decision.
- The Divorce is Finalized — A final set of forms must be completed and submitted to the court, along with any agreements and court orders. The judge will review everything and sign off on the judgment. The judgment will list the exact date of the end of your marriage.
Conditions That Must Be Met to Remarry after Divorce
The only condition that must be met for you to remarry is that your divorce must be finalized. Until your divorce is finalized, you are still legally married, and bigamy is a crime punishable by up to three years in jail in California.
That means that even if you’re ready to move on right away, you’re still looking at at least six months (the time it takes for your divorce to be finalized) or longer before you can remarry. This six-month time is considered a cool-down period.
How Getting Remarried Affects Your Divorce Settlement
When you or your ex remarry, some of the agreements involved in your divorce will change. This is especially true if one party was ordered to pay child or spousal support. In addition, remarriage changes one’s financial situation, which could justify modifying your divorce settlement.
Effects on Spousal Support
Spousal support payments end when the receiving spouse remarries in California. Spousal support is intended to assist the receiving spouse financially after the marriage, so when that spouse remarries, the responsibility ends. However, if the paying spouse gets remarried, they must continue paying spousal support.
This does not require a modification of the divorce settlement, so neither party is required to take any action to stop payments. However, when the receiving spouse gets remarried, they are legally obligated to inform the paying spouse of the marriage.
Effects on Child Support
Child support payments are intended to support the child, not the receiving parent. Therefore, child support payments will likely not be affected if either parent remarries.
If the remarriage changes the financial status of the paying parent, it could, however, prompt a modification of the support payments. For example, if the paying parent is now responsible for supporting their new spouse’s children, their financial situation may require that child support payments be adjusted.
Effects on Child Custody
Sometimes, when a parent remarries, they may request changes to child custody. For example, they may need to relocate. That would require them to agree to a change in custody, or permission from the other parent.
Azemika & Azemika, Bakersfield Divorce Attorneys
Ultimately, the decision to remarry should be based on your circumstances and needs. However, if you do decide to remarry, it’s essential to consider the legal implications and take steps to ensure you are protected.
At Azemika & Azemika, we understand that although divorce can be a difficult and emotional time, it can also come with the prospect of starting a new life and finding the love you thought you found in your first marriage. Our partners have over two decades of experience dealing with some of the most challenging, high-asset family law cases in Kern County. Our dedicated team will keep you apprised of the status of your case so that you can make informed decisions during the divorce process that will put you on the path to a better post-divorce future.
For comprehensive representation in your divorce or dissolution, contact us today.