Remarrying after separation

By Amanda Marsden, Senior Family Lawyer, Calgary

Even people who have experienced a difficult separation often find themselves falling in love again. Re-partnering is very exciting and something that should be celebrated. However, before you decide if you want to re-marry or even re-partner, there are a few things to consider: 

  1. In order to remarry, you must be legally divorced. You cannot simply be separated, even if you have signed a separation agreement. To be legally divorced, you need to have been separated for one-year (in most cases) and apply for a Divorce Judgement through the Court of Queen’s Bench. In the event that you have signed a fulsome separation agreement, it’s usually fairly simple to obtain a Divorce Judgment. If you have yet to sign a separation agreement, the process for getting a Divorce Judgment can be contentious and takes much longer than a year. If you don’t have your Divorce Judgement, it’s best to wait before planning a wedding. Delays at the courthouse or unexpected disagreements could delay your wedding unexpectedly.

  2. If you have children with your ex, they may have some questions/concerns regarding your new partner. This is normal. The questions should be reasonable and this should not be an excuse to delve into your personal life. But if your children are going to be spending significant time with your new partner, your ex will likely want to ensure that that you are seeing someone who will be a good influence on your children. Talking to your ex about your new partner before introducing them to the children shows a desire for cooperative co-parenting and may avoid unnecessary tension when the children bring up the new partner to the other parent.

  3. If you are considering moving in with your new partner, or sharing financial responsibilities with them, you should speak with your lawyer. Not only could this complicate your divorce or separation, you want to ensure you understand your rights in this new relationship. We have resources and information regarding pre-nuptial and co-habitation agreements that you may want to review prior to making this decision.  If your separation is not yet settled, you should likely wait before becoming financially involved with someone new. Otherwise, you run the risk of having to keep track of and disclose all of the financial contributions that have been made between the two of you. Re-partnering may also impact your entitled to financial support from your previous partner.

If you are considering dating after separation, or have already found a new partner, it’s important to speak to a family lawyer about how this situation may impact your divorce. Contact the family lawyers at Crossroads Law today to set up your free consultation. Each situation is different and understanding your specific circumstance will assist with ensuring you get the best advice.