Many people, fresh of a divorce, start wondering if they will ever remarry. While it may sound distasteful to you now, there is a good chance that you will, once again, want to get married. But how will your remarriage affect your custody arrangement with your ex spouse? Or, if it is your ex-spouse getting married, will his or her remarriage allow you to modify custody?
Remarriage By Itself Will Not Alter Anything
There is nothing in the law that specifically says that the mere fact that a spouse remarries, will allow a custody (or child support) arrangement to be reconsidered or amended. Remarriage, and new significant others, is a fact of life for divorced parents.
The only time remarriage would affect a timesharing schedule, is if for some reason the circumstances of the remarriage would affect the child in a harmful way—that is, it is not in the best interest of the child to be in or around the new spouse.
For example, imagine a situation in which Mom marries and moves in with her new husband. If the new spouse has serious substance abuse issues or criminal record, it could potentially be harmful to the child.
How Much is Enough?
To modify a timesharing or custody arrangement based on remarriage, there must be more than taste involved—it is not enough that you “don’t like” the new spouse, nor is it enough that you allege that your child “doesn’t like” the new spouse’s children. There must be some form of actual harm or a harmful environment for your child that is caused by the remarriage to warrant a change in custody.
Remarriage can be an issue when a remarried spouse wants to relocate—even if they do not want to relocate very far. For example, a simple move of three to four miles away, could be enough to take a child out of his or her school. This can be traumatic for a child, and you could use this to argue that perhaps timesharing or custody needs to be modified.
Should You Wait to Remarry?
Whether to wait to remarry until after a divorce case is finalized, is an individual question. There may even be times when a remarriage can help a custody case, such as if you are moving to a better school district, or if the child has a great relationship with a new spouse’s children, or if there are adults in the new home all day, that are always around to take care of the kids.
Every divorce and custody case is different. Get help for your unique situation. Contact our New Jersey family law attorneys at The Law Office of Agnes Rybar LLC for help today.