How Long After Divorce Can I Remarry?

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Once you have received your Decree Absolute confirming your divorce, you can remarry immediately. There is no waiting period before getting married again.

It’s important that you make sure your divorce has been finalised before you marry again. It is against the law to marry someone if your previous marriage is not legally over, and so if you do remarry immediately it is possible that you could be committing a crime.

Contrary to what many people think, you’re not divorced when your Decree Nisi has been issued. You have to wait at least six weeks and one day from the date your Decree Nisi was granted before you apply for your Decree Absolute.

Only once the Decree Absolute has been granted is your marriage legally over and you can remarry without any legal ramifications.

However, with the increasing number of people conducting their own divorces, more are unwittingly falling foul of the ‘remarriage trap’. This means if you divorce and subsequently remarry without your finances being resolved and enshrined in a ‘Consent Order’, you will be barred from applying for a property adjustment, lump sum, or spousal maintenance against your former spouse. You will not, however, be prevented from making a claim that relates to your former spouse’s pension.

As you can see, if you decide to remarry before a financial order is in place (linked to your divorce), the consequences can be disastrous, as the law will prevent you from applying to the Court for a financial provision order. Even though, as part of the divorce, you would have been entitled to make those claims.  Also, any obligation to pay spousal maintenance ends on the remarriage of your former spouse.

The case of E v E [2008], highlights the dangers the remarriage trap can pose. Here, the parties had negotiated an agreement in which the wife, who held the bulk of the wealth within the marriage, was to pay the husband a lump sum of £250,000. The husband’s solicitors filed the Consent Order with the court for approval, however this was done three days following his remarriage in Bali.

The husband asked the court to approve the Consent Order, however it refused. The judge outlined the existing law in England and Wales, confirming that it did not have jurisdiction to make the order. As a result, the Consent Order could not be approved and the wife was not required to pay the husband any money.

Remarriage can also create difficult discussions about future finances, current assets, competing family interests, and inheritance issues. People can be torn between wanting to provide for their new partner and protecting any assets for their children or grandchildren.

It is therefore extremely important to sort out a financial settlement properly when you divorce and to ensure this is put in place before you decide to remarry. Any delay could be costly.

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