How Long After a Divorce Before You Can Remarry in CO?

Uncontested Divorce Mediation

Posted June 12, 2019

If you are getting a divorce, then sooner or later you will be thinking about moving on. While some divorcees have been “burned” and avoid future relationships, others are likely to go “on the market” quickly.

Some states have legal minimum waiting periods. Colorado is not one of those states. In fact, Colorado has pretty lax laws about getting a marriage license. However, your divorce has to be finalized and you will need to provide a certified copy of your decree. Technically, though, you can pretty much go from the court to the altar. It might be a good idea to talk to your Denver divorce mediation attorney about the precise circumstances.

Whether this is a good idea depends on other considerations:

Alimony

If you have been granted periodic alimony (that is to say, monthly payments), then that alimony ends automatically when you remarry unless there is a specific agreement otherwise. The assumption is that the new marriage will be supporting you. Lump sum alimony or transfer of property (for example, when the supported spouse gets the house) is not affected by remarriage. In other words, if your new spouse cannot support you it might be worth thinking of waiting. This is for the state of Colorado – if you are not in Colorado, you should check the laws for your own state. Cohabitation does not automatically impact alimony unless and until it becomes a common law marriage. If your new partner is supporting you, then your ex may be able to apply to have alimony reduced or eliminated.

Remarriage

This does not affect child support in Colorado. Having more children also does not reduce child support, which can sometimes cause problems for blended families. If you find yourself paying child support you should consider this in all of your financial decisions, including remarriage. Remarriage also will not affect child custody, but if things between you and your ex are particularly bad then they might try to claim that there has been a substantial change in circumstances and custody should be looked at again.

Appeals 

In some cases your ex might file an appeal of the divorce order. This might cause the judgment to be modified. Appeals are more common if there are children involved. Usually, the appeal will fail if both spouses agreed to the terms. This is a good reason to go for Denver divorce mediation, so that everything is straightened out before you go to court in the first place. If you and your ex are on bad terms and you either want to appeal part of the order yourself or fear that they will do so, it might be a good idea to wait on formal remarriage until everything has been resolved.

Emotional Considerations

Divorce is difficult and trying, even if it is obvious to anyone that the marriage has reached an end. You should consider whether you are emotionally ready to move on before dating again, let alone before entering into another marriage, even if the new relationship is part of what ruined the old one. (Perhaps especially). It is a particularly good idea to get premarital counseling for your new relationship. Divorce counseling is also a good idea. Finding out why your old relationship might not have worked out is very important before entering into a new one. You should also consider the impact a new relationship might have on your children. Children, especially older ones, might not be ready to welcome a new mommy or daddy right away, let alone new siblings. Second marriages also tend to have a higher rate of divorce than first marriages. Children may also need counseling to deal with their parents breaking up. It is worth considering family therapy. Rushing into a second marriage without taking these things into account can often lead to a second split, and even more trauma for your children. The same goes for remarrying your original spouse which does, yes, happen more often than people think.

Taxation

Filing income taxes right after a divorce is extremely complicated. Regardless of when you were divorced, you file as single if you are unmarried on December 31. If you have children you may be able to file as head of household, which has advantages. In other words, you can actually reduce your tax burden by putting off your new marriage until January. If you do remarry in the same year, this might be one of the few occasions when filing separately can be advantageous. Talk to your tax advisor on it (If you do not normally use one, then it is a good idea to do so for the year of your divorce).

Estate Planning

Any second marriage results in complexities about estate planning. In most states, if you remarry your new spouse is entitled to a share of the estate. (Anyone who has children from previous marriages really should make a will). In fact, under Colorado law, if you leave too little to your surviving spouse, then Colorado law lets them take up to half of the estate rather than what is in the will. In some cases this might mean it is advantageous to live together without actually getting married, in order to protect your children by the previous relationship. If you do not make a will, then blended families make everything more complicated and can delay probate.

Employment

If you have been a stay-at-home parent, you might want to wait on a new marriage until you have returned to the work force and found stable employment. This can be a particular challenge if you have been out of the work force for some time.

Contact a Divorce Mediation Attorney in Denver Today!

In other words, while Colorado law makes it possible to remarry immediately after divorce, other considerations may make it desirable to wait. If you are considering a new relationship (or already in one), talk to your Denver divorce mediation attorney about your specific circumstances. They may have good advice on what would be a reasonable length of time to wait and what to consider before entering into a new marriage.

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Denver, CO 80202
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