After a divorce, some individuals may be eager to start their new life by remarrying a new partner. In some instances, remarriage can impact one’s financial situation. Before saying “I do” to one’s new partner, it is crucial to comply with the law to ensure that the new marriage starts smoothly.

How Soon Can One Remarry After Their Divorce?

California Penal Code 281 makes bigamy (marrying someone else while already married) a crime. It does not matter if one is in the midst of a divorce and no longer wants to be with their ex.

Going through a divorce can take upwards of one year, and it can be extended by different things such as child support and alimony, though some may have to return to court after the divorce is complete if there are any changes in things such as child support. Still, you and your new partner must wait to be wed until the court finalizes all of these factors and the divorce is conclusive.

California Family Code 2339 establishes that a California court cannot finalize a divorce until six months after “the date of service of a copy of summons and petition or the date of appearance of the respondent, whichever occurs first.” It may be in one’s interest to double-check with a legal professional on the status of their divorce. Checking in will help to ensure the court has finalized the divorce to avoid legal issues.

Impact of Remarriage on Alimony

Alimony is the financial support a court orders an individual to provide their ex with after the divorce. Couples do not receive alimony in the event of a marriage annulment. In general, alimony is made in monthly payments and goes for however long the court orders it to go. Courts typically grant alimony to an unemployed or low-earning spouse to help maintain the lifestyle they had with their ex-spouse.

California Family Code 4337 stipulates that if the supported spouse remarries, the ex-partner has no legal obligation to continue alimony payments. However, there may be some exceptions to this, as this article will discuss below.

Ending or Adjusting Alimony after Remarrying

In some situations, an ex-spouse may wish to lower or end alimony payments. Some instances in which it is appropriate to adjust alimony include if the supported spouse receives an increase in income or starts living with someone else. If there is a disagreement between the supporter and the supported, it is possible to file a motion to modify or terminate alimony. The applicable law is California Family Code 4326. In general, changes in their living circumstances may prompt an adjustment in alimony.

Ex-spouses may choose to continue alimony payments even if the supported spouse gets remarried. Sometimes this is court-ordered, and sometimes the ex-spouse agrees to it. It is best to talk with an attorney about the status of alimony and remarriage.

California Family Code 4334 states that if the supported spouse decides to get married, they must notify the court and their ex-spouse. If they fail to do so, they may have to issue refunds for the excess payments that occurred once they married their ex-spouse. However, if the supporting spouse misses any payments before their ex was married, they still have to make those late payments.

Impact of Remarriage on Child Support

When filing for divorce and determining child support payments, judges who want to do what is best for the child may take any of the following into account:

  • The income each parent makes
  • Health insurance costs
  • The number of children
  • The custody arrangement
  • The relationship each parent has with their child

California Family Code 3900 stipulates that parents have an equal responsibility to support their child, regardless of custody arrangements.

After divorce, some parents may decide to remarry. In many cases, remarriage will not impact the child support agreement. California Family Code 4057.5 states that stepparents do not have a legal obligation to pay for child support, so their income will not factor in the child support agreement. Judges will not consider how much the stepparent makes when adjusting child custody payments. However, there may be some exceptions, including the child’s level of hardship.

Having Another Child After Remarrying

If a parent has a new child with the stepparent after or before remarrying, this will not directly impact the child support payments. Biological parents are the primary caregivers of their children. Therefore, individuals cannot argue that the costs of a new child should lower their child support payments. The court assumes the parent voluntarily decided to have another child, which should not impact how much the other parent receives.

Parents cannot use a new marriage to change the amount they or their ex-spouse must pay in child support. The legitimate reasons for a change in the child support payment amount include but are not limited to any of the following:

  • Loss of work
  • Health concerns and costs
  • Becoming disabled
  • Custody arrangement changes

Contact Pride Legal

If you or a loved one are considering remarrying or entering a divorce in California, we invite you to contact us at Pride Legal for legal counseling or any further questions. To protect your rights, hire someone who understands them.

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