The number of previously divorced adults in the United States getting remarried is on the rise. While on a psychological and emotional level you may be prepared for your former spouse to get married again, the actual physical arrangements could be more stressful than you imagined. If your former spouse is planning an elaborate wedding that will include your children, it is possible that you will be affected by the event more than you expected. Handling your ex-spouse’s remarriage may not be easy, but with some planning and advice, it is possible to get through the situation gracefully.
Check Support and Custody Agreements
While your former spouse and his or her fiancé are planning the wedding, take some time to find out how their new marriage could potentially affect your court-ordered agreements. If you are currently paying alimony through a modifiable support agreement, the income of the new spouse could be taken into account if you request that your payments be lowered. Also, if child support is being received, it may be possible to request a child support modification. Reviewing your agreements to see if modifications are an option is advisable especially if you suspect your former spouse will initiate a hearing after the marriage.
Try to Accommodate Visitation Changes
It is natural for a parent to want his or her children involved in something as important as a new marriage. That is why some parents will want their children from a previous marriage to play an active role in their remarriage. Even with careful planning, one or two wedding-related events may fall outside of your ex-spouse’s normal visitation schedule. Allowing extra visitation so that your child can attend a rehearsal dinner, bridal shower, or other event is not necessarily mandatory but it helps your child maintain a relationship with that other parent. Refusing to let your child attend an event without providing an explanation could create hard feelings between you and your former spouse or you and your child.
No matter what you or your spouse do to make sure your children are included in the remarriage, it is possible that your children will be extremely unhappy about the change in the family’s dynamic. Adults who remarry after having children during a previous relationship are more likely to get divorced because children usually hold a great deal of power with that parent. If your child comes to you complaining about the soon-to-be stepparent, the other parent, or the marriage in general, always remain neutral. It is best to avoid giving even the slightest appearance of agreeing with your child in such a way that your former spouse may construe as parental interference. Encourage your child to talk to your ex-spouse and try not to get involved in the dispute.
Seek Legal Advice if Necessary
Divorce and remarriage are different for every family. Even with a great deal of patience, support, and neutrality you may find that the new marriage is negatively affecting your child or impacting previous legal agreements. If you would like to find out how your former spouse’s remarriage may affect you, consider contacting a qualified family law attorney. The attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum understand how important it is to preserve your rights and maintain your support agreements. Our attorneys can help you determine the best course of action based on your unique situation. Contact us today and schedule a consultation at one of our four offices conveniently located in the Atlanta metro area.