Can I get back together with my ex spouse after divorce?

For some couples, getting back together after a divorce is the last thing they would expect. For others, reconciliation occurs naturally, as they have lingering thoughts of one another or work through issues that previously stood in the way. Rebuilding a relationship after finalizing a divorce can be difficult, but there are ways to give marriage another try in a way that fosters long-lasting trust. If you and your spouse are considering reconciliation after dissolution of marriage, here are a few tips.

Consider Why You Got Divorced in the First Place

The number one consideration you should make before reconciling is whether it will end the same way again. Think about the reason you and your ex-spouse originally filed for divorce. Identify the root of your marital problems and decide if this could become an issue again. For example, say your spouse had an affair, which led to a divorce. Your spouse might promise that it won’t happen again, but if you feel you can’t trust him/her, reconciliation might not be an option. You may also want to take reconciliation slow, to see if you and your spouse have a future together that won’t simply repeat the past.

Ask Whether Things Have Changed

Reconciliation will not restore the relationship you had before the divorce – or at least, this shouldn’t be your goal. Think about reconciliation as the start of a brand-new relationship. After all, striving for the “way things were” will only lead to the same issues that ended in divorce the first time around. In the time between your divorce and now, you and your spouse have likely changed. If your spouse says he/she has changed, give him or her a chance to prove it. If you believe you’ve changed, there’s no reason to assume your spouse is the same person he/she was at the time of your divorce.

Decide If Remarriage is Right for You

For some couples, reconciliation after divorce naturally leads to the question of remarriage. Aside from personal questions relating to this move, you must also consider the legal ramifications of remarriage. You will likely need a family law attorney to help you navigate your divorce decree and new plan that remarriage would instate. Remarriage will not automatically negate the stipulations on your divorce decree. For example, it will not end provisions such as waiving a former spouse’s right to inherit from the other spouse. You will need to create a new estate plan with help from an attorney if you remarry.

Thinks About the Possibility of a Second Divorce

Reconciliation is all good and well until you and your spouse once again realize it just isn’t going to work. Divorcing a second time will not look the same as your first divorce. The California courts will look at your second marriage only, not your first and second marriages together. This can significantly affect your marital property, spousal/child support amounts, and other elements.

For example, the courts might have awarded you significant spousal support after the first divorce because you were married for 25 years. If you were only married one year before your second divorce, the courts might award you much less. It will not see you as having been married a total of 26 years, but rather just one year. Think about these factors and the odds of another divorce before you reconcile and remarry.