How many times can a couple divorce and then reconcile until it becomes old? Well, let’s ask Hollywood writer-producer Kenya Barris and his estranged wife. The couple have recently filed for divorce for the third time, after being married for nearly 21 years.
The first time that the couple filed for divorce was in 2014, but later withdrew the petition the following year. Barris then filed for divorce a second time in 2019, but withdrew that petition as well. Although it seems as if the couple was trying to make it work, Barris filed for divorce again earlier this month, citing irreconcilable differences.
Kenya and Rania Barris are not the only married couple who have made the decision to go through the divorce process several times. While she was alive (and even still in death), many people ridiculed Elizabeth Taylor for her many marriages. In fact, Taylor was married and divorced to Richard Burton twice.
Morally, there is nothing wrong with changing your mind and trying to reconcile with the one you love. Legally, however, there could be several issues with marrying and divorcing several times.
There is a reason why the divorce process is one of the most complex processes in law. There are so many aspects of a married life that must be legally untangled before both parties can go their separate ways. Both spouses must come together and come to a mutual agreement about dividing things like property and assets, coming up with custody agreements, and determining things like alimony and support. By continuing to marry and divorce multiple times, it can feel as if other members of the family are going on a rollercoaster ride with the couple.
What happens if my spouse and I decide to divorce again? Will we still have to go through a new divorce process?
Yes. Even if the same factors from your former divorce proceeding still apply, you would still have to file for a new divorce and go through the same process all over again. For however long your recent marriage lasted, you would also have to consider any new properties, additions to the family, earnings, and financial issues.
How multiple marriages and divorces affect alimony in Maryland
One of the aspects of a divorce that can be affected by multiple marriages and divorces is alimony. Alimony is a legal obligation that one spouse pays to the other following a divorce. This obligation is awarded to one spouse as a way to provide financial support. However, once the spouse receiving alimony remarries, alimony payments stop.
Even if the spouse remarries their former spouse, payments still end once the couple remarries. However, what happens if you and your spouse start to experience the same problems after recently remarrying? What if your spouse holds the threat of alimony payments over your head if you decide that you want a divorce? Issues like these are a very good reason to sign a prenup or postnup; you can address these concerns before you remarry.
How multiple marriages and divorces affect children
Deciding to remarry and divorce again and again takes an emotional and mental toll on your children. Stephanie Coontz, a sociologist who teaches family studies and history at Evergreen State College, reports that children who experience several divorces are not as well-adjusted compared to children who only have gone through one divorce. Children learn through their parents’ example and repeat the same actions in their relationships when they become adults.
Another issue that you would have to consider after remarrying or divorcing for another time is how your child custody arrangements will proceed moving forward. Even if you and your former spouse decide to remarry, there are certain procedures that you must follow in regards to your child support order. Your child support order is not something that you can decide to just stop paying when you would like. It is a legal obligation that is court-ordered, and must be paid until the children become 18 years old.
Even when you decide to remarry your former spouse, your child support order can be a source of tension between the two of you. Your former (current?) spouse may have plans to reduce or eliminate the child support order, while you may still believe that your spouse should still pay the court-ordered support. On many occasions, remarriage does not affect a child support order, even if the spouse you remarried is your former spouse.
How the addition of new properties affect the divorce process
Even if you and your spouse’s remarriage lasts for only a few months, a variety of changes can happen in that time. You and your spouse could have acquired several new assets during the remarriage. If you and your spouse decide to divorce again, those new properties will have to be evaluated.
When a couple divorces for the first time, the decision to even file can be devastating for a family. That is why it is always great to hear of couples who were able to reconcile their marriage after filing for or even finalizing a divorce. Reconciliation is a sign that a couple has been able to do something that many others have not. But if the second (or third) time isn’t quite a charm, you deserve a Fulton divorce attorney who can help you move forward.
At McCabe Russell, PA, we work with couples who have gone through the divorce process multiple times. If you need professional and ethical divorce and family law counsel, we are ready to help. Call our office at 443-917-3347, or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation. We maintain offices in Fulton, Bethesda, Rockville, and Columbia.
At McCabe Russell, PA, we have an established reputation as assertive and confident negotiators and litigators, offering legal guidance designed to eliminate any of our clients’ worries and confusion. We are experienced family law attorneys in Howard and Montgomery County, but we serve clients throughout Maryland. Read more about McCabe Russell, PA.