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Marriage After Divorce

Divorce is difficult. It is an emotional, life interrupting event that no one sets out to experience. Unfortunately, it sometimes becomes necessary. The good news is that many people are able to move on after a divorce and find another person with whom they want to spend the rest of their lives. They want to marry again. Not surprisingly, under New York law, if you get married and then get divorced, you have the legal right to get married again. While this was not always the case, it is now the law. If you do want to remarry, it is important to make sure that your divorce is final and that you have documents as evidence. The New York divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have over 20 years of experience representing clients facing challenging family legal matters related to divorce, marriage, child custody, and child support. With our resources, knowledge, and skill, we can help ensure that your interests are protected.

Marriage After Divorce

According to NY Dom. Rel. Law §8, if your marriage is dissolved by a divorce, you have the right to marry again. You must be divorced and not separated. If you are still legally married and you attempt to get married again, the new marriage would be void.

Divorce vs. Separation

While there are some aspects of legal separation that are similar to divorce, a legal separation does not terminate the marriage. With a legal separation, you and your spouse choose to live separately. The separation agreement can include details related to child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, division of assets, and other details. There are many reasons to opt for a legal separation instead of divorce. Some couples view the separation as a short-term solution while they work through problems. They are not yet ready to dissolve their marriage and believe that they may eventually reconcile. Sometimes the reasons are practical and financial. If a couple separates, they are still entitled to marriage-based benefits such as employee health insurance and benefits that are payable to surviving spouses. Other couples for religious reasons do not believe in divorce.

On the other hand, divorce terminates the marriage relationship. The parties are no longer spouses. They can no longer take advantage of the benefits of being spouses. To get divorced, you must file an action for divorce. A divorce proceeding can be uncontested or contested. With an uncontested divorce the couple works through the details for the divorce and come to an agreement without the court having to step in and make decisions for the couple. With a contested divorce, the couple is unable to work through details such as property settlement or spousal maintenance. As a result, there is divorce litigation and the court makes the decisions that the couple was unable to.

Whether the divorce is contested or uncontested, the result is a divorce the decree. With the divorce decree, both former spouses are free to move forward and marry other people. Upon applying for a marriage license, you would have to disclose your prior marriage. The town or city clerk may require you to produce evidence that your divorce is final before issuing you a marriage license.

Divorce vs. Annulment

Like a divorce, if your marriage is annulled, you are no longer married. The difference is that while a divorce terminates a marriage, an annulment invalidates a marriage. If your marriage is annulled by the court through an action for annulment, you would be free to marry another person. Similarly, if your marriage is void for any reason, you would be able to marry another person.

Related Statutory Provisions
  1. Incestuous and Void Marriages: New York Domestic Relations Law, section 5
  2. Void marriages: New York Domestic Relations Law, section 6
  3. Voidable marriages: New York Domestic Relations Law, section 7
Domestic Relations Law, section 8: Marriage after divorce

Whenever, and whether prior or subsequent to September first, nineteen hundred sixty-seven, a marriage has been dissolved by divorce, either party may marry again.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you are planning to marry after your relationship with your former spouse has ended, it is important that you divorce your former spouse and that the divorce is final. With a finalized divorce, you will be able to move forward and remarry. If you are facing a divorce or are unsure about the status of your marriage, seek the guidance of an experienced New York divorce lawyer at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates. With over 20 years of experience we can handle divorce litigation with skill and sensitivity. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Nassau County, Queens, Suffolk County, Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Staten Island, and Westchester County.

Client Reviews
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My ex-husband hadn't paid child support or the mortgage on the house as he was supposed to. Stephen Bilkis and his team of lawyers were amazing. They stopped the foreclosure on the house, Got a judgment against him and most importantly kept me and my children in the house. Can't say enough good things about him in the firm their compassion hard work and dedication were exceptional. I.G.
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